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J Dent Res. 2011 Jan;90(1):18-30. doi: 10.1177/0022034510378429. Epub 2010 Sep 21.

Application of polychromatic µCT for mineral density determination.

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Biomaterials Research Unit, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Sydney, Sydney Dental Hospital, 2 Chalmers Street, Surry Hills, NSW 2010, Australia.


Accurate assessment of mineral density (MD) provides information critical to the understanding of mineralization processes of calcified tissues, including bones and teeth. High-resolution three-dimensional assessment of the MD of teeth has been demonstrated by relatively inaccessible synchrotron radiation microcomputed tomography (SRµCT). While conventional desktop µCT (CµCT) technology is widely available, polychromatic source and cone-shaped beam geometry confound MD assessment. Recently, considerable attention has been given to optimizing quantitative data from CµCT systems with polychromatic x-ray sources. In this review, we focus on the approaches that minimize inaccuracies arising from beam hardening, in particular, beam filtration during the scan, beam-hardening correction during reconstruction, and mineral density calibration. Filtration along with lowest possible source voltage results in a narrow and near-single-peak spectrum, favoring high contrast and minimal beam-hardening artifacts. More effective beam monochromatization approaches are described. We also examine the significance of beam-hardening correction in determining the accuracy of mineral density estimation. In addition, standards for the calibration of reconstructed grey-scale attenuation values against MD, including K(2)PHO(4) liquid phantom, and polymer-hydroxyapatite (HA) and solid hydroxyapatite (HA) phantoms, are discussed.

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