Making Teeth Transparent


[*] Dr. Zhao: So the PEGASOS method — This is
actually a clear method which turns tissue into transparent. Tissue clearing technique is not brand new. It just started from neuroscience research,
like, a couple of years ago. And our group was the first ones who really
bring it into the dental research. And we were able to make bone or even the
teeth fully transparent. The traditional way of imaging is like we
have to cut tissues into sections. Each section is like 5 microns. Then we scan those sections under the microscope expecting to get some useful information, that’s 2D. We don’t have to do these sections anymore. We bring this transparent sample directly
under confocal microscope, and that will ease everything. Direct on the confocal throughout the entire
tissue, all the information is stored in this image stack. And we can see things in 3D. And we can get a lot of new information from
this. And we know how the nerves in that picture
are organizing in 3 dimensions. This kind of information was never, was never
possible before by using traditional 2D technology. So the 3D imaging process actually brings
a lot of new information for both basic scientists, and clinicians. Ever since we developed this PEGASOS technique,
when we started this research actually we were focused on neuroscience and we were normally
using like brain or spinal cord tissue for our testing. And later we switched onto the dental tissue,
looking at the teeth, looking at the bone. And then we found many exciting applications. So, one example is: we were able to see how
a blood vessel when nerves are distributing within the pulp, dental pulp. Or how that distribution within the periodontal
ligament, PDL space. This kind of imaging no one has seen before. So definitely the 3D information provides
more comprehensive diagnostic results, for, uh, than the 2D sections. But I believe that in the very near future
this will become the standard for pathological analysis.

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