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Time-correlated single-photon counting fluorescence lifetime confocal imaging of decayed and sound dental structures with a white-light supercontinuum source

McConnell, G. and Girkin, J.M. and Ameer-Beg, S.M. and Barber, P.R. and Banerjee, B.V.A. and Watson, D.T. and Cook, R. (2007) Time-correlated single-photon counting fluorescence lifetime confocal imaging of decayed and sound dental structures with a white-light supercontinuum source. Journal of Microscopy, 225 (2). pp. 126-136. ISSN 0022-2720

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Abstract

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 supercontinuumexcitation source. By using a 100 fs-pulsed Ti:Sapphire laser with a low-frequency chirp topump 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 noninfected 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.