Gili Naveh, DMD, PhD –
The structure of many tissues is established from 2D imaging techniques, mostly histological sections. These methods often provide sufficient resolution however, a thorough comprehension of the 3D structure is mostly impossible. Today many new 3D imaging methods exist and being developed, starting from optical microscopy through Ultrasound, MRI and CT. Each of which has its specific advantages and limitations.
The periodontal ligament is a soft tissue connecting the tooth to the jaw bone. Imaging a soft tissue encapsulated between two hard tissues in 3D necessitates a non-conventional approach that will allow visualization of the soft tissue as well as the ability to image through the hard tissues. Using a customized humidified loading system inside a microCT we were able to visualize in 3D the periodontal ligament in its native form for the first time. In doing so we were able to discover new features of this unique ligament that completely changes our understanding of its structure.
Dr. Gili Naveh is an orthodontist and a researcher at Harvard School of Dental Medicine. Combining powerful 3D imaging tools together with biology and engineering, the Naveh lab is aiming to unravel the structure – function relations in the periodontal ligament in particular and in ligaments in general. We also employ a translational approach intended to lead to new paths in ligament and bone regeneration therapies as well as to new approaches to controlled and predicted tooth movement.