Victor Babes University of Medicine and Pharmacy

Skin Cancer Pathobiology at a Glance: A Focus on Imaging Techniques and Their Potential for Improved Diagnosis and Surveillance in Clinical Cohorts

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Early diagnosis is essential for completely eradicating skin cancer and maximizing patients’ clinical benefits. Emerging optical imaging modalities such as reflectance confocal microscopy (RCM), optical coherence tomography (OCT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), near-infrared (NIR) bioimaging, positron emission tomography (PET), and their combinations provide non-invasive imaging data that may help in the early detection of cutaneous tumors and surgical planning. Hence, they seem appropriate for observing dynamic processes such as blood flow, immune cell activation, and tumor energy metabolism, which may be relevant for disease evolution. This review discusses the latest technological and methodological advances in imaging techniques that may be applied for skin cancer detection and monitoring. In the first instance, we will describe the principle and prospective clinical applications of the most commonly used imaging techniques, highlighting the challenges and opportunities of th...

Effect of an Anaerobic Fermentation Process on 3D-Printed PLA Materials of a Biogas-Generating Reactor

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3D-printed materials are present in numerous applications, from medicine to engineering. The aim of this study is to assess their suitability for an application of interest today, that of testing of 3D-printed polylactic acid (PLA)-based reactors for biogas production using anaerobic digestion. The impact of temperature, pH, and aqueous phase on the tested bioreactor is investigated, together with the effect of the gaseous phase (i.e., produced biogas). Two batches of materials used separately, one after another inside the bioreactor were considered, in a realistic situation. Two essential parameters inside the reactor (i.e., pH and temperature) were continuously monitored during a time interval of 25 to 30 days for each of the two biogas-generating processes. To understand the impact of these processes on the walls of the bioreactor, samples of 3D-printed material were placed at three levels: at the top (i.e., outside the substrate), in the middle, and at the bottom of the bioreact...

SD-OCT Biomarkers and the Current Status of Artificial Intelligence in Predicting Progression from Intermediate to Advanced AMD

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Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is one of the leading causes of blindness in the Western World. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) has revolutionized the diagnosis and follow-up of AMD patients. This review focuses on SD-OCT imaging biomarkers which were identified as predictors for progression in intermediate AMD to late AMD, either geographic atrophy (GA) or choroidal neovascularization (CNV). Structural OCT remains the most compelling modality to study AMD features related to the progression such as drusen characteristics, hyperreflective foci (HRF), reticular pseudo-drusen (RPD), sub-RPE hyper-reflective columns and their impact on retinal layers. Further on, we reviewed articles that attempted to integrate biomarkers that have already proven their involvement in intermediate AMD progression, in their models of artificial intelligence (AI). By combining structural biomarkers with genetic risk and lifestyle the predictive ability becomes more accurate. ( Read Full Arti...

Endodontic fillings evaluated using en face OCT, microCT and SEM

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Objectives: The goal of endodontic therapy is mechanically cleaning and shaping the root canal system, the removal of organic and inorganic debris followed by sealing with permanent filling materials. Materials and methods: Therefore, the aim of this in vitro study was to engage three imagistic methods: (i) en face (ef) time domain (TD) optical coherence tomography (OCT), (ii) micro-computed tomography (μCT), and (iii) scanning electron microscopy (SEM), in terms of their efficiency in assessing the quality of endodontic fillings. So far, is settled that efOCT images can identify defects∕voids in several of the investigated root canal fillings and identify gaps of 50 μm. Results: The results delivered by μCT technology also showed several imperfections of the endodontic filling but also at the interfaces formed by the sealer and the root canal walls. SEM investigations highlights the complex form of the interface formed the endodontic filling material and the walls of the r...

Emerging Technologies for Dentin Caries Detection—A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

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This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed at assessing the diagnostic accuracy of emerging technologies, such as laser fluorescence (LF), transillumination, light-emitting diode devices, optical coherence tomography (OCT), alternating current impedance spectroscopy, fluorescence cameras (FC), photo-thermal radiometry, and modulated luminescence technology. In vivo and in vitro results of such non-ionizing, non-invasive, and non-destructive methods’ effectiveness in non-cavitated dentin caries detection are sometimes ambiguous. Following the PRISMA guidelines, 34 relevant research articles published between 2011–2021 were selected. The risk of bias was assessed with a tool tailored for caries diagnostic studies, and subsequent quantitative uni- and bi-variate meta-analysis was carried out in separate sub-groups according to the investigated surface (occlusal/proximal) and study setting (in vivo/in vitro). In spite of the high heterogeneity across the review groups, i...

Dental Diagnosis and Treatment Assessments: Between X-rays Radiography and Optical Coherence Tomography

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A correct diagnosis in dental medicine is typically provided only after clinical and radiological evaluations. They are also required for treatment assessments. The aim of this study is to establish the boundaries from which a modern, although established, imaging technique, Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT), is more suitable than the common X-ray radiography to assess dental issues and treatments. The most common methods for daily-basis clinical imaging are utilized in this study for extracted teeth (but also for other dental samples and materials), i.e., panoramic, intraoral radiography, and three-dimensional (3D) cone beam computed tomography (CBCT). The advantages of using OCT as an imaging method in dentistry are discussed, with a focus on its superior image resolution. Drawbacks related to its limited penetration depth and Field-of-View (FOV) are pointed out. High-quality radiological investigations are performed, measurements are done, and data collected. The same teeth and ...

Quantitative assessment of rat bone regeneration using complex master-slave optical coherence tomography

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ackground: The need for hard and soft tissues in oral implantology determined the development of methods and techniques to increase bone volume and their quality with different alternative materials used as substituents of patient’s natural bone. In addition, laser radiation can be used to accelerate the repair of fractures and to produce an increased volume of formed callus, as well as an increased bone mineral density. Methods: The aim of this work is to evaluate the capability of an in-house developed multimodal complex master slave (CMS) enhanced swept source (SS) optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging instrument to analyze the increase in the quantity and the improvement of the quality of newly-formed bone using low level laser therapy (LLLT). Bone formation is quantitatively assessed in 5 mm cylindrical defects made in the calvaria part of the skull of living rats. Samples are divided in three study groups: A, a negative control group, for which the natural healing p...

MODERN APPROACHES OF ANALYSIS AND TREATMENT OF ENDODONTIC LESIONS USING THE ENDOSCOPE AND THE OPTICAL COHERENCE TOMOGRAPHY

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Aim of the study: The main reason of the present study is to analyze and record the evolution of two revolutionary methods in dental medicine with which endodontic treatments can be performed as well as the evaluation of their quality that appeared in the last twenty years. Materials and Methods: An electronic search was done on Research Gate, Science Direct and PubMed using terms about modern endodontic treatments between 1990 and 2019. Every article containing the terms of interest has been read carefully and selected according to its importance in this article. Terms used for search included: Endoscopy; Tooth Anatomy; Optical Coherence Tomography; Magnification in Dental Medicine; Diagnostics in Dental Medicine; Cariology; Restorative dentistry; Endodontics; Pedodontic; Prosthetics; Periodontology. Results: Studies have shown that technology is constantly growing in the field o dentistry, bringing new results every year, improved for the diagnosis, evaluation and treatment of den...

Optical Coherence Tomography Investigations and Modeling of the Sintering of Ceramic Crowns

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Dental prostheses are sintered in ovens that sometimes suffer from a loss of calibration. This can lead to variations of the sintering temperature outside the range recommended by the manufacturer. Stress and even fractures in dental ceramics may occur, and this leads to the necessity to rebuild the dental construct. The aim of this work is to monitor the quality of sintering processes using an established biomedical imaging technique—optical coherence tomography (OCT). Conventional current procedures imply the fabrication of supplemental samples that add to the expenses and are only evaluated visually. To our knowledge, we were the first to propose the use of OCT, a non-destructive method that brings objectivity for such assessments, focusing, in a previous study, on metal ceramic dental prostheses. Here, a different material, pressed ceramics, is considered, while we propose a quantitative assessment of the results—using reflectivity profiles of en-face (i.e., constant...

Assessment of Ductile, Brittle, and Fatigue Fractures of Metals Using Optical Coherence Tomography

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ome forensic in situ investigations, such as those needed in transportation (for aviation, maritime, road, or rail accidents) or for parts working under harsh conditions (e.g., pipes or turbines) would benefit from a method/technique that distinguishes ductile from brittle fractures of metals—as material defects are one of the potential causes of incidents. Nowadays, the gold standard in material studies is represented by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). However, SEM instruments are large, expensive, time-consuming, and lab-based; hence, in situ measurements are impossible. To tackle these issues, we propose as an alternative, lower-cost, sufficiently high-resolution technique, Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) to perform fracture analysis by obtaining the topography of metallic surfaces. Several metals have been considered in this study: low soft carbon steels, lamellar graphite cast iron, an antifriction alloy, high-quality rolled steel, stainless steel, and ductile cast...

Clinical relevance of retinal structure in children with laser-treated retinopathy of prematurity versus controls – using optical coherence tomography

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Purpose We aimed to assess the macular anatomy using spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT), in children born preterm who had laser-treated retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), and to investigate the relationship between structural changes in macula and visual function. Methods Thirty-seven 3–8 years old children were included in the study in two groups: 20 children born preterm [(<34 weeks of gestation, birthweight (BW) <2000 g)] who had laser-treated ROP in the Neonatology Department, Municipal Clinical Emergency Hospital of Timisoara, Romania; and 17 controls (children born at term, without eye disease, matched for age and gender). Spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) imaging (Spectralis OCT) was performed at central fovea and 1 mm nasally. Results In the ROP group (total 34 eyes), we included both eyes in 14 children, and on one eye in six other children. In the control group, both eyes for all 17 children were included. Central fovea thi...

Effects of Temperature Variations during Sintering of Metal Ceramic Tooth Prostheses Investigated Non-Destructively with Optical Coherence Tomography

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Calibration loss of ovens used in sintering metal ceramic prostheses leads to stress and cracks in the material of the prostheses fabricated, and ultimately to failure of the dental treatment. Periodic calibration may not be sufficient to prevent such consequences. Evaluation methods based on firing supplemental control samples are subjective, time-consuming, and rely entirely on the technician’s skills. The aim of this study was to propose an alternative procedure for such evaluations. Fifty prostheses were sintered in a ceramic oven at a temperature lower, equal to or larger than the temperature prescribed by the manufacturer. A non-destructive imaging method, swept source (SS) optical coherence tomography (OCT) was used to evaluate comparatively the internal structure of prostheses so fabricated. A quantitative assessment procedure is proposed, based on en-face OCT images acquired at similar depths inside the samples. Differences in granulation and reflectivity depending on...

Geometric & radiometric vignetting associated with a 72-facet, off-axis, polygon mirror for swept source optical coherence tomography (SS-OCT)

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Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) has a broad range of applications in 2D and volumetric imaging of micron scale structures typically used on inaccessible objects such as the retina of the eye. This report focuses on Swept Source OCT (SS-OCT), favoured for its faster scanning speeds and therefore faster data acquisition (highly favourable when imaging live patients). SS-OCT relies on the scanning of a narrow laser line at speeds typically in excess of 100 kHz. We have employed Zemax TM ray tracing software to simulate one method of splitting the spectrum of a broadband, near-infrared source, into its component wavelengths by reflecting the spectrum from an off-axis, 72-facet polygon mirror at a frequency of 48 kHz. We specifically addressed the geometric and radiometric vignetting associated with the reflected spectrum off an individual mirrored facet and how this may impose limitations to the incident beam size and hence lead to a loss in the power available from the source. It wa...

Assessment of dental plaque by optoelectronic methods

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The formation of dental biofilm follows specific mechanisms of initial colonization on the surface, microcolony formation, development of organized three dimensional community structures, and detachment from the surface. The structure of the plaque biofilm might restrict the penetration of antimicrobial agents, while bacteria on a surface grow slowly and display a novel phenotype; the consequence of the latter is a reduced sensitivity to inhibitors. The aim of this study was to evaluate with different optoelectronic methods the morphological characteristics of the dental biofilm. The study was performed on samples from 25 patients aged between 18 and 35 years. The methods used in this study were Spectral Domain Optical Coherence Tomography (SD-OCT) working at 870 nm for in vivo evaluations and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) for validations. For each patient a sample of dental biofilm was obtained directly from the vestibular surface of the teeth's. SD-OCT produced C- and B-scans...

OCT and shear-force evaluations of zirconia Fixed Partial Prosthesis processed with a conventional CAD/CAM technology

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Introduction. Dental ceramics show better biocompatibility and aesthetic properties in dental constructs with regard to metals. However, they also have an insufficient mechanical stability, as well as low resistance limits due to their fragility. Taking into account these aspects, glass infiltrated with ceramic materials such as alumina (i.e., zirconiareinforced ceramics) is being nowadays considered a better material for full fixed partial prostheses (FPPs) than ceramics: the former has a higher mechanical resistance, which makes it more appropriate for restoration areas, where there is an increased mechanical stress. The interest for zirconia is growing due both to its resistance and to the possibility to develop such prostheses using the CAD/CAM technology. Materials and methods. 24 all ceramic FPPs created with CAD/CAM technology were used. The models were scanned with Zeno Wieland Scanner, a one touch scanning machine which requires between 45-60 s for a full model scan. The sc...

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