Scanning Microscopy


This review paper highlights some aspects of the contribution of SEM in the field of oral mucosa research. These include 1) different preparative techniques, 2) structure of the oral mucosa and its role in normal function, 3) advances in oral microbiology, 4) development of the oral mucosal epithelium, 5) pathological diagnosis and 6) morphometry.

There are four main ways to study the oral mucosa with SEM; biopsy (autopsy) samples, smears, replica technique, and cell culture techniques. The structural studies can be divided as studies of the surface structure of the superficial cells of the oral mucosa and studies of the interactions between epithelium and connective tissue. Colonization and the morphology of micro-organisms are easy to see with SEM.

Morphometric techniques have been used to determine the density of connective tissue papillae and to analyse surface structures of epithelial cells. In this paper, computerized image analysis systems for use in SEM research are presented.

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