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Dental studies: tooth enamel composition

APT, Atom Probe Tomography
APT used to observe magnesium segregation and influence on calcium to phosphate ratio in bovine tooth enamel

Bovine enamel is a common substitute for human tooth enamel in in vitro dental studies. Previous reports on the composition of bovine enamel rely on bulk measurements and lack insight on local distribution. The physical, chemical, biological, and mechanical properties of teeth are dependent on the concentration of impurities along with the ratio of calcium to phosphate (Ca/P). Here Atom Probe Tomography (APT) was utilized to report on the local composition and three-dimensional distribution of impurities. APT demonstrated the extent of inhomogeneity within the enamel and revealed that regions of increased magnesium impurity, aligned with regions of higher Ca/P ratio.

Recorded on CAMECA LEAP 4000X HR at State University of New York, Buffalo, USA. Image courtesy of O. G. Licata.
O. G. Licata et al. Probing Heterogeneity in Bovine Enamel Composition Through Nanoscale Chemical Imaging Using Atom Probe Tomography. Archives of Oral Biology (under review).

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