Miniature, rapid, and 3-dimensional OCT scanner for dental imaging
Department of Health and Human Services
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Small Business Information
AGILTRON, INC., 15 CABOT RD, WOBURN, MA, 01801
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
AbstractDESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Agiltron proposes an innovative dental OCT (optical coherence tomography) miniature probe with a unique and high speed 2D MEMS scanner. This will enable the miniaturization of the two dimensional probe, so that dentist need only hold a probe in a fixed position against a tooth and obtain a complete three dimensional scan of the structure in less than one second. The small size of the MEMS mirror allows the device to be packaged in a compact form factor compatible with the constrained geometry of the mouth. Agiltron will also incorporate a novel fiber-tip lens to focus the beam, which will enable further miniaturization and cost reduction. The probe will be comparable in size to other dental instruments such as the UV light guide used for curing resins. Phase I will undertake the design and fabrication of a prototype OCT probe with integrated MEMS scanning mirror and a miniature fiber focusing lens, and demonstrate the feasibility of the technology by scanning tooth samples. Phase II will fabricate a complete probe and demonstrate the utility of the technology in laboratory and clinical tests. The mainstay of diagnostic imaging in dental practices today is dental radiography (x-ray), which was first used in dentistry in 1885. This technology has severe limitations in providing the detailed information needed for early detection of decay and in imaging the occlusal, or biting surfaces of the rear or molar teeth, where up to 80% of all tooth decay originates. It has been previously shown that OCT provides an improvement over x-ray imaging, particularly in imaging the biting surfaces of teeth and regions adjacent to prior restorative work and in detecting very early stage decay. It is particularly promising for children because of the potential speed of the imaging and because of the absence of ionizing radiation. However, currently available probes for dental OCT do not have integrated lateral scanning. One dimension of lateral scanning, to allow the acquisition of discrete tomography slices, can be provided by an external scanner but it is bulky. The integration of a miniature 2 dimensional MEMS scanner into the probe will preserve its compact nature and will enable the acquisition of true 3D scans of the teeth. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: Optical Coherence Tomography promises to advance on state-of-the art dental imaging, primarily X-rays, by creating accurate 3-dimensional scans of structures within the teeth and gums. It offers enhanced ability to image very early decay, the biting surfaces of teeth, regions adjacent to existing restorations, and soft tissue such as gums, and is particularly promising for children because of the potential speed of the imaging and because of the absence of ionizing radiation. This will allow earlier treatment of dental disease which will result in improved oral health and potentially in reduced costs.
* information listed above is at the time of submission.