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We report the demonstration of time-correlated single-photon counting (TCSPC) fluorescence lifetime imaging (FLIM) to ex vivo decayed and healthy dentinal tooth structures, using a white-light supercontinuum excitation source. By using a 100 fs-pulsed Ti:Sapphire laser with a low-frequency chirp to pump a 30-cm long section of photonic crystal fibre, a ps-pulsed white-light supercontinuum was created. Optical bandpass interference filters were then applied to this broad-bandwidth source to select the 488-nm excitation wavelength required to perform TCSPC FLIM of dental structures. Decayed dentine showed significantly shorter lifetimes, discriminating it from healthy tissue and hard, stained and thus affected but non-infected material. The white-light generation source provides a flexible method of producing variable-bandwidth visible and ps-pulsed light for TCSPC FLIM. The results from the dental tissue indicate a potential method of discriminating diseased tissue from sound, but stained tissue, which could be of crucial importance in limiting tissue resection during preparation for clinical restorations.

Original publication

DOI

10.1111/j.1365-2818.2007.01724.x

Type

Journal article

Journal

J Microsc

Publication Date

02/2007

Volume

225

Pages

126 - 136

Keywords

Dental Caries, Equipment Design, Humans, Microscopy, Confocal, Microscopy, Fluorescence, Optics and Photonics, Tooth