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Influence of Image Acquisition on the Evaluation of Roughness in Biomaterials: Roughness Measurements in Gutta Percha Cones Using Atomic Force Microscopy

Maíra do Prado, Luiz Carlos de Lima, Heloisa Gusman, Renata A. Simão


Gutta percha cones are well known biomaterials used for dental root canal filling. Solutions such as sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl) are used to disinfect these materials. However, it has been demonstrated that NaOCl is a strong oxidizing agent that can cause surface deterioration. Variations in surface roughness can be accessed by Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM). The aim of this work was to evaluate how different image acquisition methods with AFM determine the reliability of the calculated roughness parameters. Gutta percha cones were placed on the AFM and topographic images were recorded. Images in different areas and sizes were obtained in order to assess full information about the surface of the sample. One of these locations was selected and images in different sizes were made to find the saturation roughness. Two different acquisition approaches were used: Images of a same area, 40 ?m x 40 ?m, were acquired using 512 x 512 and 256 x 256 points. Images smaller were made in the same way. After that, another 40 ?m x 40 ?m image obtained with 512 x 512 points was used to make digital zooms and to obtain the smaller ones. The results show that in larger images there is no significant difference between RMS and Ra measured on 512 x512 and on 256 x 256 images. Image processing procedure, can lead to images with similar overall appearance at larger scales but smaller details of the surface structure are lost after higher magnifications. This work shows that a thorough investigation of the sample is important to determine the more appropriate approach to carry out the analysis.

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