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Tooth enamel of exfoliated deciduous teeth of preterm and term born children: analysis of trace elements of crystal structures

Grant number: 12/03829-3
Support Opportunities:Regular Research Grants
Duration: July 01, 2012 - June 30, 2014
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Medicine - Medical Clinics
Principal Investigator:Benjamin Israel Kopelman
Grantee:Benjamin Israel Kopelman
Host Institution: Escola Paulista de Medicina (EPM). Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP). Campus São Paulo. São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated researchers:Manfredo Harri Tabacniks


The preterm (PT) are particularly predisposed to develop tooth enamel defects. There are several causes for the defects, but it is known mainly for low-weight, pre term NBs (Seow et al, 1984a, Seow et al (1984b, Pimlott et al (1985), Rugg-Gunn et al (1998), Aine et al (2000), Melo et al (2002), Paulsson ET AL (2004) and Takaoka et al, (2011).The tooth is a true "biological register", because ameloblasts are extremely sensitive cells and any systemic or local impact may interrupt its function either temporarily or permanently (Torres, 1958). The analysis of materials by ionic beams, (Ion Beam Analysis) entails the use of a variety of nuclear-spectroscopic techniques, such as Rutherford back scattering, RBS (Rutherford Backscattering Spectrometry), inelastic or resonant scattering, Proton induced X-ray emissions, PIXE (Proton Induced X-Ray Emission), protons induced gamma ray emissions, PIGE (Proton Induced Gamma-Ray Emission), frontal recoil, ERS (Elastic Recoil Spectrometry, also known as ERDA), among others (Chu, 1978; Johansson & Campbel, 1988; Mayer & Rimini, 1977, Tabacniks, 1983 and 1991). Those techniques enable the detection of the elements of the entire periodic table, with detection limits ranging from percent fractions to mg/g (ppm).The mineral tissue of the teeth consists of hydroxyapatite crystals Ca10(PO4)6(OH)2 with incorporated trace elements (F, Sr, K, Al, Si, Ni, B, Fe, Cu, Mn, Co, Cr, Zn, Mg, Se, Pb, Mo, and V, which supplies information on habits and diet.The PIXE analysis of deciduous teeth of this study sample will be conducted at the Lab of Material Analysis by Ionic Beams of the USP (LAMFI - acronym in Portuguese), using 2.4 MeV proton beams to probe the samples. (Falla-Sotelo et al, 2005). The objective of the present study is to establish an incorporation pattern of trace elements in the teeth of preterm babies and compare it to those of the term born babies. Should there be any difference, the importance of the findings will be assessed and the possibility of supplementation in parenteral, enteral nutrition, and artificial or breast feeding should be verified, as the tooth works as a biological marker.The identification of trace elements by highly sensitive PIXE resources could be the median needed in order to reach that objective. The team of the USP Physics College is highly qualified to do so, as per research on the identification of trace elements conducted by Tabacniks et al (2002) and Added et al (2005) comparing the composition of human, bovine, and porcine teeth.The development of such study might start a highly sensitive research line using equipment available in a few research centers, since only Brazil and Argentina have such resources in South America. The possibilities of use are geared to Public Health in Human and Veterinary Medicine and Odontology. (AU)

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