Computational and Mathematical Methods in Medicine
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 892451, 8 pages
Research Article

Piecewise-Constant-Model-Based Interior Tomography Applied to Dentin Tubules

1The Key Laboratory of Optoelectronic Technology and Systems of the Education Ministry of China, Chongqing University, Chongqing 400044, China
2Biomedical Imaging Division, VT-WFU School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA
3Argonne National Laboratory, 9700 South Cass Avenue, Argonne, IL 60439, USA
4Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Biological Chemistry, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, 303 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611-3008, USA
5Biomedical Imaging Division, VT-WFU School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences, Wake Forest University Health Sciences, Winston-Salem, NC 27157, USA

Received 28 November 2012; Accepted 16 January 2013

Academic Editor: Kumar Durai

Copyright © 2013 Peng He et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Dentin is a hierarchically structured biomineralized composite material, and dentin’s tubules are difficult to study in situ. Nano-CT provides the requisite resolution, but the field of view typically contains only a few tubules. Using a plate-like specimen allows reconstruction of a volume containing specific tubules from a number of truncated projections typically collected over an angular range of about 140°, which is practically accessible. Classical computed tomography (CT) theory cannot exactly reconstruct an object only from truncated projections, needless to say a limited angular range. Recently, interior tomography was developed to reconstruct a region-of-interest (ROI) from truncated data in a theoretically exact fashion via the total variation (TV) minimization under the condition that the ROI is piecewise constant. In this paper, we employ a TV minimization interior tomography algorithm to reconstruct interior microstructures in dentin from truncated projections over a limited angular range. Compared to the filtered backprojection (FBP) reconstruction, our reconstruction method reduces noise and suppresses artifacts. Volume rendering confirms the merits of our method in terms of preserving the interior microstructure of the dentin specimen.