Project: Research project

Project Details


The scanning electron microscope/electron probe microanalyzer described in
this proposal will provide the capability to analyze a variety of
biomaterials, including metals, polymers, ceramics and biological tissues.
It will serve as a replacement for an aging electron microprobe which has
been at the focal point of numerous significant discoveries in dental
materials during the past twenty years, several of which have been directly
responsible for modifications in the composition of dental amalgam. These
discoveries have advanced restorative materials. In addition, the
instrument will provide the SEM capabilities that are presently lacking. One of the projects in which the SEM will be used is involved with
delineating the factors leading to the premature failure of current dental
composite restoratives. This study will attempt to evaluate various in
vitro experiments in terms of their ability to discriminate between
adequate and inadequate formulations. The second study employing the SEM
and the x-ray analytical capabilities of the microprobe is concerned with
documenting and correlating the changes in morphology and calcium levels in
the lens of the eye during cataract formation. This experiment is a
portion of a proposal designed to better understand the biochemical
mechanism involved in selenium-induced cataracts. The electron microprobe
capabilities will be further used to better define the correlation between
the in vitro properties and the in vivo behavior of dental amalgam.
Microstructural and compositional characterizations of various amalgams
will be performed to achieve this goal. In addition, the electron
microprobe will be used in another study involved with quantifying and
identifying the various mechanisms of mercury release from dental amalgam.
In answer to the recent concern over the use of mercury in dentistry, this
proposal aims to determine maximum mercury exposure levels for patients and
dental personnel. The use of the instrument proposed will be supervised by an electron
microprobe operator having twenty years of practical experience. The
instrument fulfills the requirements outlined in four current NIH sponsored
projects, and can be justified on the basis of updating currently available
equipment as well as providing new capabilities not readily available at
our institution.
Effective start/end date5/24/905/23/92


  • National Institutes of Health: $396,000.00


  • Medicine(all)


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