Photoacoustic Ultrasound Could Measure Periodontal Health

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Researchers from University of California, San Diego used photoacoustic (optoacoustic) imaging with a contrast agent to measure pocket depths in swine models. The measurements were compared to those taken with a periodontal probe.

Results showed that the photoacoustic imaging approach offered 0.01-mm precision and could cover the entire pocket, compared to the probe-based approach, which was limited in the number of sites it could cover. The gingival thickness could also be precisely measured using data obtained from the ultrasound mode.

The values gathered with the ultrasound technique matched that of the top periodontal probe approaches, but they were more precise and covered all areas of the tooth.

The researchers said this was the first demonstration of measuring pocket depths with photoacoustic imaging. Potential implications could include tools for automated dental examinations or noninvasive examinations. In future work, the researchers will use models of periodontal disease and automated algorithms to collect and process the data received via ultrasound.

The research was published in the Journal of Dental Research (doi:10.1177/0022034517729820).

Published: August 2018
photoacoustic imaging
Abbreviated PAI. An imaging modality with a hybrid technique based on the acoustic detection of optical absorption from endogenous chromophores or exogenous contrast agents. Light is absorbed by the chromophores and converted into transient heating, and through thermoelastic expansion there is a resulting emission of ultrasonic waves. In tissue, ultrasound scatters less than light, therefore PAI generates high-resolution images in the diffusive and optical ballistic regimes compared to purely...
Research & TechnologyeducationAmericasUniversity of California San Diegoultrasound imagingImagingphotoacoustic imagingOptoacoustic imagingperiodontaldentalpocket depthmedicalBiophotonicsBioScan

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