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Abstract #2013

NMR microscopy of dental biofilm metabolism

Majors P, Wind R, McLean J
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

We demonstrate the feasibility of using NMR microscopy to measure microbial physiology for dental biofilm samples in a model oral environment. This offers the opportunity for the detailed study of the pathological processes associated with dental caries and resulting tooth decay. Synthetic tooth enamel and glass biofilm support materials are shown to be compatible for MRI, MRS and MRSI measurements. The growth medium must be chosen carefully to support biofilm growth and activity, and provide NMR spectral resolution. Metabolic studies of biofilms may prove useful for understanding normal and pathological function in dental and other biofilms.