Fifth Place - Eric Miller

Staff, Northwestern University’s Atomic and Nanoscale Characterization Experimental Center (NUANCE)

“Enamel Crystals”

Tooth enamel protects our teeth from daily wear and tear. But, as we age, enamel can erode, leaving our teeth exposed and vulnerable. Professor Tom Diekwisch, Head of the Department of Oral Biology at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry is working to develop new methods of regenerating tooth enamel.

This image, taken by Miller, shows a control experiment in which enamel proteins are being used to grow enamel-like calcium phosphates called hydroxyapatite crystals.

The image resulted from a collaboration between the NUANCE Center at Northwestern University and Prof. Diekwisch. Many outside companies and universities come to the NUANCE Center to image and process their samples due to the center’s large array of advanced electron microscopes and other imaging equipment.

Technique: Scanning electron microscopy, false coloring

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