Abstract

The thermal and optical properties of multilayered dental tissue structure, the result of the surface-grown prismless layer on enamel, were evaluated simultaneously using multiparameter fits of photothermal radiometry frequency responses. The photothermal field generated in a tooth sample with near-infrared laser excitation was described using a coupled diffuse-photon-density and thermal wave model. The optical (absorption and scattering) coefficients and thermal parameters (spectrally averaged infrared emissivity, thermal diffusivity and conductivity) of each layer, as well as the thickness of the upper prismless enamel layer, were fitted using a multiparameter simplex downhill minimization algorithm. The results show that the proposed fitting approach can increase robustness of the multiparameter estimation of tissue properties in the case of ill-defined multiparameter fits, which are unavoidable in in vivo tissue evaluation. The described method can readily be used for noninvasive in vitro or in vivo characterization of a wide range of layered biological tissues.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

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