Thermophotonic lock-in imaging: A novel early caries detection and imaging modality

Nima Tabatabaeia, Andreas Mandelis, Bennett T. Amaechi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations


Using photothermal wave principles and as an extension to the frequency-domain photothermal radiometry, a novel dental imaging modality, thermophotonic lock-in imaging (TPLI), is introduced. In order to assess the capabilities of the proposed methodology samples with natural and artificially-generated caries were examined and the results were compared with the destructive transverse microradiography density profiles. It was found that the increased light scattering and absorption within early carious lesions increases the thermal-wave amplitude and shifts the thermal-wave centroid, producing contrast between the carious lesion and the intact enamel in both amplitude and phase images. Phase images are emissivity normalized and therefore insensitive to the presence of stain. Amplitude images provide integrated information from deeper enamel regions. It was concluded that the results of our non-invasive, non-contacting imaging methodology exhibit significantly higher sensitivity to very early demineralization than dental radiographs and are in agreement with the destructive transverse microradiography mineral density profiles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationLasers in Dentistry XVII
StatePublished - 2011
EventLasers in Dentistry XVII - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: Jan 23 2011Jan 23 2011

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


OtherLasers in Dentistry XVII
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco, CA


  • Early caries detection
  • Lock-in thermography
  • Photothermal radiometry
  • Thermophotonic lock-in imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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