Imaging carious dental tissues with multiphoton fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy

Po Yen Lin, Hong Chou Lyu, Chin Ying Stephen Hsu, Chia Seng Chang, Fu Jen Kao*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


In this study, multiphoton excitation was utilized to image normal and carious dental tissues noninvasively. Unique structures in dental tissues were identified using the available multimodality (second harmonic, autofluorescence, and fluorescence lifetime analysis) without labeling. The collagen in dentin exhibits a strong second harmonic response. Both dentin and enamel emit strong autofluorescence that reveals in detail morphological features (such as dentinal tubules and enamel rods) and, despite their very similar spectral profiles, can be differentiated by lifetime analysis. Specifically, the carious dental tissue exhibits a greatly reduced autofluorescence lifetime, which result is consistent with the degree of demineralization, determined by micro-computed tomography. Our findings suggest that two-photon excited fluorescence lifetime imaging may be a promising tool for diagnosing and monitoring dental caries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-158
Number of pages10
JournalBiomedical Optics Express
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2011


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