Scanning Microscopy


Thin cryosections and sections of embedded tissue were prepared from dentine of cryofixed rat incisors. Energy dispersive X-ray microanalysis (EDX) and electron energy-loss spectroscopy (EELS) have been applied to study the calcium and phosphorus distribution in predentine of these incisors. A small enrichment of calcium and phosphorus was found in the predentine zone near the dentine border.

Element distributions were correlated with analyses of the early crystal formation in dentine. These investigations were carried out by parallel applications of electron spectroscopic diffraction (ESD) and electron spectroscopic imaging (ESI) using zero-loss filtering. It was found that the earliest crystal formations already showed the lattice of the hexagonal mineral apatite. They form parallelly arranged chains of dots which coalesce rapidly to form "needle-like" crystallites along the collagen microfibrils.

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