Dentin micro-architecture using harmonic generation microscopy

R. Elbaum, E. Tal, A. I. Perets, D. Oron, D. Ziskind, Y. Silberberg, H. D. Wagner*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Objectives: We present a novel way to create high-resolution three-dimensional images of tooth dentin by harmonic generation scanning laser microscopy. Methods: The images were taken using a pulsed infrared laser. Three-dimensional reconstruction enables the visualization of individual tubules and the collagen fibrils mesh around them with an optical resolution of ∼1 μm. Results: The images show micro-morphological details of the dentinal tubules as well as the collagen fibrils at a depth of up to about 200 μm. The data show that while collagen fibrils are organized in planes perpendicular to the tubules, close to the dentin enamel junction they lie also along the long axis of the tubules. Conclusions: The unique 3D information opens the opportunity to study the collagen fibril arrangement in relation to the tubule orientation within the dentin matrix, and may be applied to study the micro-morphology of normal versus altered dentin.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)150-155
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Dentistry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2007
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project was supported in part by the G.M.J. Schmidt Minerva Centre of Supramolecular Architectures and by the German Israeli Foundation for Scientific Research and Development. The authors wish to thank Steve Weiner for helpful insights. H.D. Wagner holds the Livio Norzi Professorial Chair in Materials Science.


  • Collagen fibrils
  • Dentin
  • Harmonic generation microscopy
  • Three-dimensional imaging
  • Tubules


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