Article

Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine

, Volume 12, Issue 8, pp 743-751

First online:

The spatial arrangement of tubules in human dentin

  • J. H. KinneyAffiliated withDivision of Bioengineering and Biomaterials, Department of Preventive and Restorative Dental Sciences, University of California, San Francisco
  • , J. OliveiraAffiliated withBattelle Pacific Northwest Lab
  • , D. L. HauptAffiliated withLawrence Livermore National Laboratory
  • , G. W. MarshallAffiliated withDivision of Bioengineering and Biomaterials, Department of Preventive and Restorative Dental Sciences, University of California, San Francisco
  • , S. J. MarshallAffiliated withDivision of Bioengineering and Biomaterials, Department of Preventive and Restorative Dental Sciences, University of California, San Francisco

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Abstract

We applied two-dimensional numerical methods to describe the spatial arrangement of tubules in human dentin. The methods considered were two-point correlation functions, entropy-like measures, and angular distributions between nearest neighbors. The correlation functions were based on Fourier transform methods. The latter two approaches were based on stochastic geometry, and involved developing the Delaunay tessellations of the tubule patterns and their dual Voronoi diagrams. We discovered that for analyzing the distribution of tubules the geometric methods of lattice tessellations were more sensitive to structural order of the tubules than were Fourier-based schemes. Analysis of the data indicated that dentinal tubules are highly ordered in normal dentin. © 2001 Kluwer Academic Publishers