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Centre for Advanced Photonics and Electronics


CAPE Advanced Technology Lecture

X-ray and insitu transmission electron microscopy to study calcium phosphate nucleation from bioactive glass dissolution

Wednesday, December 14 14:00

EEDB Seminar Room, Electrical Engineering Building, Cambridge and online

For online attendees, please register at:

Speaker: Richard Langford Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge 


One way to treat dentine hypersensitivity, the short, sharp pain on drinking something hot or cold, is to block the exposed dentinal tubules. In some toothpastes this is achieved by using bioactive glass as one of the active components. On contact with the saliva the bioactive glass undergoes dissolution and drives the formation of hydroxyapatite like material that occludes the tubules.

In this talk I will discuss the pink beam X-ray tomography and the insitu liquid cell (LC) TEM work we have been using to measure the depth of occlusion in the tubules and the mode of action of the bioactive glass within the toothpastes. Using pink beam tomography enabled the nucleation/occlusion and dissolution process within the tubules, at different time points, to be studied and enabled over 2000 tubules to be measured. In the insitu LC work it was possible to observe in real time the nucleation driven by the bioactive glass and the acid etching of the material occluding the dentinal tubules.

About the speaker

Dr Richard Langford runs the Cavendish Electron Microscopy Suite. In addition to working and training users his work involves developing imaging techniques and the application of focused ion beams for micro and nanoengineering.  Over the last 10 years a large part of Richard’s research has been on bioactive glasses, using a variety of imaging techniques to study the mode of action of the glasses.

Richard has received PhD in Electrical Engineering and Physics degree from the Imperial College London.

Watch the lecture on our YouTube channel

Wednesday, 14 December, 2022 - 14:00
Event location: 
EEDB Seminar Room and online