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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:Louisiana State University
  • Jian Xu
  • (225) 578-4483
Award Date:05/11/2021
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 500,000
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 401,614
  • FY 2021=$401,614
Start Date:03/01/2021
End Date:02/28/2026
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.041
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:CAREER: Image critical dental diseases that current dental X-ray/CT fails to detect, without ionizing radiation
Federal Award ID Number:2046929
DUNS ID:075050765
Parent DUNS ID:940050792
Program:CCSS-Comms Circuits & Sens Sys
Program Officer:
  • John Zhang
  • (703) 292-8111

Awardee Location

Street:202 Himes Hall
City:Baton Rouge
County:Baton Rouge
Awardee Cong. District:06

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:Louisiana State University and A&M College
City:Baton Rouge
County:Baton Rouge
Cong. District:06

Abstract at Time of Award

More than 2/3 of Americans have to receive dental imaging routinely. Current dental diagnosis largely relies on dental X-ray/CT (computed tomography), with several major drawbacks: 1) current dental X-ray/CT fails to detect some critical diseases with high incidence rates: for instance, 34-74% of people have tooth cracks. Due to highly variable symptoms, crack is notoriously difficult to be diagnosed even for experienced dentists. 2) the ionizing radiation of dental X-ray was found to increase the risk of meningioma, thyroid cancer, and delivery of low-birth-weight baby. Ionizing radiation is more concerned in children, as they are required to take 3-6 times more frequent dental X-ray/CT, and in dental professionals, as they operate X-ray/CT much more frequently, than normal patients. 3) It is also challenging to hold bulky X-ray/CT sensor immobile by many people, such as children. This project is to address these drawbacks by developing a novel dental imaging scheme with a lab-designed sensitive near-infrared fluorescence photonic imaging system, consisting of a high-resolution camera and a spectroscopic device, for real-time dental imaging. In addition, this project will teach students and educate the general public on the cutting-edge bio-imaging knowledge to help them tackle practical challenges, such as COVID-19. The project goal is to develop a sensitive near-infrared fluorescence imaging system, including a high-resolution camera and a spectroscopic device, together with nanofluorophore, to image critical dental structures and diseases, including those undetectable by state-of-the-art dental X-ray/CT, in real time, and to eliminate the risks of ionizing radiation and the necessity of biting bulky sensors immobile. To achieve the goal, the following approaches are to be used: 1) Design a high-resolution dental imaging system and study the fundamental mechanism of dye distribution in dental tissues and the impact of dye distribution on imaging performance; 2) Systematically compare this dental imaging scheme to other state-of-the-art imaging modalities on critical dental diseases and structures on both animal and human teeth; 3) Optimize the dental imaging strategy with indocyanine green delivery by mouthwash. The research activity of this project has intellectual significances in several aspects: A) This research advances interdisciplinary knowledge. First, this research may advance the fundamental understanding of bio-distributions of dye in soft and hard biomaterials. FDA-approved near-infrared dye, the indocyanine green, is well understood for the distribution into soft tissues via blood and lymphatic circulations. However, how indocyanine green is distributed into hard structures, such as teeth, remains unknown. This study will investigate the indocyanine green distribution approaches in hard structures, how the biodistribution is affected by imaging factors (for example, dye dosage, observation time) and how these factors may quantitatively impact the imaging performance. Second, this research advances the fundamental understanding of how hard and soft biostructures interacts with different electromagnetic waves (such as near-infrared I (700-1000 nm), near-infrared II (1000-1700 nm), and X-ray) and how these interactions impact the choice of electromagnetic waves and imaging parameters when imaging various dental diseases. B) This work is innovative in the field of dental imaging. This work employs FDA-approved indocyanine green as a biocompatible near-infrared II fluorophore to facilitate the translation of human applications, and a user-friendly “mouthwash” delivery of dye, as opposed to the traditional intravenous injection; both are the pioneering works in the field. C) This work is transformative. In contrast with the current dental X-ray/CT (10-2-101 nm) imaging, this works uses completely different light (700-1700 nm) to eliminate the ionizing radiation, thus leading to the revolutionary change of dental practice by providing continuous real-time dental imaging at various angles/distances without health concerns. This project is being jointly funded by Electrical, Communications and Cyber Systems (ECCS) in Engineering Directorate and the Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR). This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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