Cracked tooth syndrome (CTS) is an incomplete fracture of a human tooth that commonly arises from chewing hard foods. Although it is a very common syndrome, CTS is often difficult to diagnose owing to the common small size of tooth cracks. Conventional techniques for the detection of cracks, such as transillumination and radiographic methods, are inaccurate and have poor imaging resolution. In this study, we devise a novel method for the in vivo detection of tooth microcracks by exploiting the mechanoluminescence (ML) phenomenon. ZrO2:Ti4+ (ZRT) phosphor particles are pasted onto suspected regions of tooth cracks and emit cyan-colored light as a result of masticatory forces. Then, a stretchable and self-healable photodetector (PD) array laminated on top of the phosphor particles converts the emitted photons into a photocurrent, which facilitates the two-dimensional mapping of the tooth cracks. Because of the high photosensitivity of the PD, intense ML and small size of ZRT phosphor particles, it is possible to image submicron- to micron-sized cracks with high resolution. Furthermore, the uniqueness of this technique over the conventional techniques stems from the application of a simple optical phenomenon, i.e., ML, for obtaining precise information regarding the locations, depth, and length of tooth cracks.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Ministry of Education (NRF-2018H1A2A1062877) and the Korean government (MSIT) (NRF-2021M3H4A1A02049634, 2020M3H4A3081792), the Bio & Medical Technology Development Program (NRF-2018M3A9F1021649), Nano Material Technology Development Program (NRF-2021M3D1A204991411). This work was supported by the BK21 FOUR (Fostering Outstanding Universities for Research) program through the National Research Foundation (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education of Korea. This research was also supported by the Technology Innovation Program (KEIT-20010737) and the Korea Initiative for Fostering University of Research and Innovation (KIURI) Program (2020M3H1A1077207), Center for Super Critical Material Industrial Technology (20013621) funded by the Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy (MOTIE, Korea).
© 2022, The Author(s).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Modelling and Simulation
- Materials Science(all)
- Condensed Matter Physics