Operando time-lapse X-ray diffraction tomography of dentine tubule occlusion by bioactive glasses

Xiaojing Chen, Owen Addison, Sharif Ahmed, Alberto Leonardi, Hans Deyhle, Philip Withers, Xiaohui Chen

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Purpose / Aim
Dentine hypersensitivity (DH) is a commonly occurring dental condition where sharp pain derived from exposed dentine in response to stimuli that cannot be ascribed to any other dental diseases. It is highly prevalent affecting up to 69% of the UK population and has a significant impact on the quality of life. Bioactive glasses that degrade in oral environment and form apatite are thought to be beneficial in occluding the exposed open dentine tubules and have been introduced to toothpastes, e.g. Novamin® (45S5 Bioglass) for Sensodyne by GSK, fluoride containing bioactive glass for BioMin® F by BioMin Technologies Ltd. Post-mortem characterisations evidenced tubule occlusion (Fig.1) but failed in
providing dynamic history. Therefore, this study aimed to monitor dentine tubule occlusion with bioactive glasses using an operando time-lapse X-ray diffraction tomography experiment.

Materials & Methods
Disinfected Teeth (collected under REC reference 16/SW/0220) were sectioned mesio-distally into discs approximately 500 μm thick using a precision diamond saw, polished down to 300 μm manually. Matchstick specimens (5 mm length x 3 mm width) prepared were brushed for 2 mins with bioactive glasses pastes, housed in a modified Eppendorf tube and positioned on the tomography stage of the Dual Imaging and Diffraction (DIAD) beamline at Diamond Light Source (UK’s national synchrotron). A baseline X-ray tomography (pink beam, 0-180°, detector exposure of 0.01 and 5,000 projections) and X-ray diffraction mapping (matrix scan with 10x10 points, 20 s exposure) were collected before artificial
saliva was introduced. Time-lapse X-ray tomography and X-ray diffraction mapping using the same parameters as baseline scan were carried out consecutively for 8 h allowing the visualisation of tubule occlusion and changes of mineral density as well as monitor the phase evolution from glass to apatite.
Artificial saliva was manually replenished. Monochromatic beam with an energy of 20 keV was used and calibrations were performed.

The collected tomography data allow visualisation of dentine tubule occlusion showing improved occlusion with time. 2D XRD data provide qualitative and quantitative information relates to glass dissolution and apatite formation as a function of time.

The Dual Imaging and Diffraction (DIAD) beamline correlates X-ray tomography and X-ray diffraction mapping offers the opportunity to study dentine occlusion by bioactive glasses in a time evolving manner that is not available via other techniques. Although in vitro but clinically relevant. The results will potentially provide a guidance for optimising and designing products for dentine tubule
occlusion/treating dentine hypersensitivity – one of the most prevalent global diseases with healthy ageing.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023
EventADM 2023 Conference - California, San Diego, United States
Duration: 4 Oct 20237 Oct 2023


ConferenceADM 2023 Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego
Internet address


  • X-ray tomography
  • Operando
  • X-ray diffraction mapping
  • dentine tubule occlusion,
  • bioactive glasses

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Henry Royce Institute


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