(19)
(11)EP 3 094 281 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
09.09.2020 Bulletin 2020/37

(21)Application number: 15737330.9

(22)Date of filing:  13.01.2015
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
A61C 5/00(2017.01)
A61B 6/14(2006.01)
A61B 5/00(2006.01)
A61B 5/05(2006.01)
A63B 71/08(2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/US2015/011102
(87)International publication number:
WO 2015/108836 (23.07.2015 Gazette  2015/29)

(54)

DETECTION OF HARD AND SOFT TISSUE MASS/DENSITY

DETEKTION VON HARTER UND WEICHER GEWEBEMASSE/DICHTE

DÉTECTION DE MASSE/DENSITÉ DE TISSU DUR ET MOU


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 14.01.2014 US 201461927214 P

(43)Date of publication of application:
23.11.2016 Bulletin 2016/47

(60)Divisional application:
20163162.9 / 3685789

(73)Proprietor: Achaemenid, LLC
Stratford, CT 06615 (US)

(72)Inventors:
  • RADMAND, Reza
    Trumbull, CT 06611 (US)
  • MOGHADAM, Ali
    Trumbull, CT 06611 (US)

(74)Representative: Sanger, Phillip Simon 
Vault IP Limited Cavendish House Waterloo Street
Birmingham B2 5PP
Birmingham B2 5PP (GB)


(56)References cited: : 
US-A- 4 564 355
US-A- 5 259 761
US-A- 5 803 730
US-A1- 2006 047 190
US-A1- 2010 137 722
US-A1- 2011 270 053
US-A- 5 259 761
US-A- 5 570 182
US-A1- 2004 122 306
US-A1- 2010 074 401
US-A1- 2010 235 180
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    Cross-Reference to Related Applications



    [0001] This application claims benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/927,214 filed January 14, 2014.

    Field



    [0002] An apparatus and method for use in the medical field for detecting bone density and/or diseased hard and soft tissue, particularly changes in bone density resulting from the use of anti-resorptive drugs, is described in which non-ionizing electromagnetic waves are transmitted and received to provide measurements of hard and/or soft tissue abnormalities incidental to dental and/or systemic disease.

    Background



    [0003] The hertz (symbol Hz) is a unit of frequency in the International System of Units (SI). It is defined as the number of cycles per second of a periodic phenomenon. The electromagnetic spectrum is the range of all possible frequencies of electromagnetic radiation. The infrared spectrum, (including near infrared, mid-infrared and far infrared), are segments of the electromagnetic spectrum with longer wavelengths than those of visible light, extending from a nominal red edge of the visible spectrum at 700 nanometers (nm) to 1 mm. This range of wavelengths corresponds to a frequency range of approximately 430 Terahertz (THz - 1012 Hz) down to about 300 GHz (three hundred billion hertz). THz and sub-THz include segments of the electromagnetic spectrum between about far infrared and microwave, which have a wavelength of about 3mm to about 1 µm, corresponding to frequencies that range from about 100 GHz to 30 THz. These segments of the spectrum cannot be easily gauged with the optical and electronic measurement techniques normally associated with adjacent regions of the spectrum.

    [0004] It is understood by those skilled in the art that it is possible to use the terahertz segment of the electromagnetic spectrum for diagnosis of dental disease or tissue changes in the hard and soft tissues of an intra and extra oral complexes. For example, use of the electromagnetic spectrum within the terahertz range is well established to diagnose dental decay more accurately and at an earlier stage than other ionizing x-ray techniques. This concept can also be used to illustrate multi-dimensional shapes of such anatomical structures using appropriate hardware and software to convert wave forms into identifiable anatomical images. Typically the waves of this spectrum penetrate the tissue and reflect back to a detector, where they will be read and analyzed. This specific segment of the electromagnetic spectrum will only emit non-ionizing radiation, as compared to other conventional diagnostic tools such as the x-ray or gamma ray that can damage tissue cells.

    [0005] Advances in technology have made possible the production and detection of infrared radiation with devices that are mobile and operate at room temperature. Perhaps the most commonly used generation method, in medical applications, employs optical rectification, whereby high frequency oscillations of a femtosecond laser pulse are rectified by an optical crystal, leaving only the envelope of the laser signal which is a THz pulse.

    [0006] What is needed is a device and method that uses an alternative diagnostic means that is mobile, encompasses use of a wide range of the electromagnetic spectrum, has minimal biological adverse effect on the human cells and is practical enough to be used multiple times.

    [0007] USA patent publications US2006/047190 (A1), US5259761(A), US2004/122306(A1), US5803730 (A) and US2010/074401 (A1) are relevant documents to understand the background of the present invention.

    Brief Description



    [0008] According to the present invention, there is provided an apparatus for measuring hard and/or soft tissue abnormalities incidental to dental and/or systemic disease according to claim 1. The apparatus may include using an infrared portion of an electromagnetic spectrum in the detection of bone perfusion and the THZ portion of an electromagnetic spectrum, in detection of bone loss and diseased soft and hard tissue. In a further embodiment, the method and device use the terahertz or infrared waves for detection.

    Brief Description of the Figures



    [0009] A more particular description briefly described above will be rendered by reference to specific embodiments thereof that are illustrated in the appended drawings. Understanding that these drawings depict only typical embodiments and are not therefore to be considered to be limiting of its scope, exemplary embodiments will be described and explained with additional specificity and detail through the use of the accompanying drawings in which:

    Fig. 1a is a perspective view of a typical mandible (lower jaw) of a patient for which the device and method are adapted according to an embodiment;

    Fig. 1b is a cross-sectional view of the mandible of Fig. 1a;

    Fig. 2a is a perspective view of a stent according to an embodiment;

    Fig. 2b is a perspective view of a stent according to an embodiment;

    Fig. 3 is a perspective view of bone density measuring device according to an embodiment; and

    Fig. 4 is a perspective view of an alternative bone density measuring and diseased tissue detection device according to an embodiment.



    [0010] Various features, aspects, and advantages of the embodiments will become more apparent from the following detailed description, along with the accompanying figures in which like numerals represent like components throughout the figures and text. The various described features are not necessarily drawn to scale, but are drawn to emphasize specific features relevant to embodiments.

    Detailed Description



    [0011] Reference will now be made in detail to various embodiments. Each example is provided by way of explanation, and is not meant as a limitation and does not constitute a definition of all possible embodiments.

    [0012] According to an aspect, a diagnostic device 100 is provided that is configured for transmitting and receiving non-ionizing electromagnetic waves to measure the patient's hard and/or soft tissue abnormalities associated with the underlying hard and/or soft tissue. As described herein, components of one embodiment are intended for use in multiple embodiments, as would be understood by one of ordinary skill in the art. For instance, a computer 30 and/or spectrometer 50 depicted in Fig. 3, is capable of use with a stent 20 of Fig. 2a and 2b, as will become more apparent with greater discussion hereinbelow.

    [0013] In an embodiment the waves can be used to identify vascular changes occurring in a jawbone with satisfactory tissue differentiating abilities, as would be found, for instance in dental and/or systemic disease. According to a further aspect, infrared spectroscopy is used as a diagnostic tool for measuring blood perfusion within the jawbone (specifically Near Infrared Spectroscopy - NIRS). In yet another aspect, the terahertz wave is used to detect the soft and hard tissue changes. As used herein, the soft tissue is the tissue that connects, supports, or surrounds other structures and organs of the body, not being bone and includes but is not limited to gums, gingiva, intestinal tissue, vasculature, skin and the like, while the hard tissue includes but is not limited to bone, teeth, and the like.

    [0014] With reference to Fig. 1a, a mandible (a lower jaw or jawbone) 10 of a patient is shown. Although not specifically shown, embodiments described and shown herein that are operational with respect to the mandible are also applicable to the maxilla (upper jaw bone). With reference to Fig. 1b, a cross-sectional view of the mandible of Fig. 1a, the bone 10 includes a cortical bone 12 surrounding spongy bone 14, with the gums and soft tissue 16 covering the bone 10, which comprise hard and/or soft tissue as referenced herein.

    [0015] Any comparative and relative hypo- or hyper-calcification within the medullary cavity associated with and/or incidental to dental and/or systemic disease, (which contains bone marrow (not shown)), for instance, shows itself as a decrease or increase in its density. Additionally, any reduction in bone perfusion within the medullary bone, may signify hyper calcification or increase in osteoblastic activity of the alveolar bone. A patient on a specific medication regimen that may change the density of the bone within short time intervals may need to be followed up closely as these changes occur. The use of electromagnetic radiation (i.e., THZ Time Domain, Infrared Fourier Transform), is particularly beneficial to patients who are receiving medications for osteoporosis or metastatic bone disease secondary to multiple myeloma, breast or prostate cancer, to name a few. The use of anti-resorptive medications is necessary to mitigate the loss of bone mass, leading to pathologic fracture of the bone.

    [0016] In an embodiment, it is important to repetitiously and accurately measure the changes occurring in the bone for at least the following reasons: 1) gage the efficacy of these anti-resorptive drugs; 2) accurately follow and measure, in short time intervals, the incremental changes that occur in the jawbone during the administration of the anti-resorptive therapy, which according to current technology capabilities is not practical (the only current methods for bone density evaluation are ionizing radiation or MRI); 3) to develop an alternative protocol for drug administration, based on the changes that occur in the jawbone, hence reducing the incidence of osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ); 4) to detect the excessive and sometimes irreversible damage to the vital components of the bone complex (for example in the jawbone, this condition could lead to ONJ), with the aim to reduce or stop the use of these medications, in time, when such changes are detected; and 5) to evaluate the healing progression within the alveolar bone, post ONJ.

    [0017] As discussed above, the full electromagnetic spectrum can be used to measure bone density/mass and bone vascular perfusion, as described herein. Since the infrared wave has a low tissue absorption rate, it is capable of penetrating through soft and hard tissue, up to several centimeters. The infrared wave is mainly absorbed by hemoglobin molecules, which aid in obtaining a value for the amount of vascular perfusion within the bone being measured. By measuring the vascular abundance in, for instance, the alveolar bone, a degree of osteoblastic activity, (bone deposition), during the administration of anti-resorptive therapy drugs or bisphosphonate medicines such as XGEVA® (denosumab) manufactured by Amgen Inc., to patients with metastatic bone disease (such as Giant Cell Tumor of Bone) and osteoporosis. Although these drugs are administered to countermand bone loss and generate tissue healing, in rare instances, death of bone cells and/or tissue result. Approximately 4-5% of patients taking such drugs experience a serious side effect of ONJ, also known as avascular necrosis of the jaw, resulting in drastic and unpleasant symptoms, including pain, inflammation of the surrounding soft tissue, secondary infection and/or drainage. The definitive sign of ONJ is the exposure of mandibular or maxillary bone through the gingiva over 8 weeks in duration. There may be no symptoms for weeks or months, until lesions with exposed bone appear. Use of the infrared wave and associated detection equipment as discussed in greater detail below for early detection and to measure the progressive diminishing of the alveolar vasculature can greatly benefit patients suffering from this debilitating disease.

    [0018] Currently, as previously mentioned, the only way to closely monitor such changes is with the use of ionizing radiation and expensive MRI techniques.

    [0019] According to an aspect, an apparatus and method for measuring hard and/or soft tissue abnormalities incidental to dental and/or systemic disease is provided. In an embodiment, and with reference for instance to Figs. 2a and 2b, a stent 20 is selected to overlay a patient's hard and/or soft tissue (see, for instance, Fig. 1). According to an aspect, the stent 20 is selected based on the relative size of the mouth of the patient. According to an aspect, the stent 20 is customizable, that is, the stent is created from impressions of each individual patient's mouth, and sized to overlay each patient's hard and/or soft tissue. As would be understood by one of ordinary skill in the art, depending on the particular circumstances of each individual patient, the lower and/or upper jaw may be limited in number of teeth (including having no teeth), may have bone loss, and the like, when the stent is customized.

    [0020] With reference to Figs. 2a and 2b, such an oral stent 20 is provided. In an embodiment, the overall dimensions and shape of the stent 20 may be formed through conventional dental molding techniques and are designed to fit over the teeth 18 (see Fig. 3) or edentulous jaw of the patient and lay in proximity to the gums 16 of the patient. In an embodiment, the stent 20 has a plurality of detection ports or openings 26, which are strategically positioned along the stent and selected for positioning adjacent segments of the jawbone 10 having different bone density. As an example, an anterior portion of bone of the lower jaw 10 (Fig. 1) may have a lower bone density than a posterior portion or segment of the bone, and is hence considered more vascular. The stent 20 typically includes an upper surface 25, flanked by sides 27 of the stent 20, along an edge 28.

    [0021] In an embodiment, a pair of the plurality of detection ports 26 comprises a buccal-side 21 detection port 26 and a lingual-side 23 detection port 26. In an embodiment, the lingual-side detection port is positioned opposite the buccal-side detection port. In a further embodiment, the buccal-side detection port is configured as a mirror image of the lingual-side detection port. According to an aspect, the buccal-side detection port is configured to transmit the electromagnetic wave, while the lingual-side detection port is configured to receive data associated with the transmitted/received wave, and return data to an attached computer 30, which is configured for calculating, from the received data, the bone density and/or bone vascular perfusion adjacent and across each of the pairs of the plurality of ports 26. According to an aspect, the pairs of detection ports 26 are positioned along an edge 28 of the stent 20.

    [0022] In an embodiment, the buccal side 21 of the stent 20 includes wires 22/24 connected to outer edges of each buccal-side port 26 as shown in Figs. 2a and 2b for initiation of transmission of the electromagnetic wave and for receiving data related to measured bone density. In an embodiment, a wire in 22 is connected to a posterior edge of port 26, which is positioned on the buccal side 21 of the stent 20, while a wire out 24 is connected to an anterior edge of the same port 26. Positioned on the stent 20 opposite to the wires 22, 24, the port(s) 26 positioned on the lingual side 23 may include, for instance, a detector or sensor for receiving the transmitted wave (not shown). The plurality of ports 26 are capable of transmitting the sensed or measured IR wave related to the bone density and feeding the data back to a computer for analysis (as discussed with greater detail with reference to Fig. 3 hereinbelow).

    [0023] In an embodiment, the wires 22, 24 are connected to a computer 30 and/or a spectrometer (see Fig. 3) or alternatively, a wireless connection may be made, which initiates a wave having a length and/or frequency in the electromagnetic spectrum described herein that ranges from the infrared range to the THZ range (approximate frequency range of 1011 - 1014 Hz) and transmits the wave from, for instance, the buccal side of the stent 20 through the bone across the port 26, and detects the wave to create an image of the bone density. The wires 22/24 are thus configured for transmitting the electromagnetic waves and receiving data associated therewith. According to an aspect, the wires 22/24 are attached at a first end 29 of the wires to the buccal side ports 26, and attached at a second end to the computer 30 (not shown). In an embodiment, the diagnostic device is configured to transmit the electromagnetic waves from the buccal-side detections ports, through the patient's bone, and the lingual-side detection ports being configured to receive the electromagnetic waves, such that changes occurring in the bone density and/or bone vascular perfusion are repetitiously and accurately measured, wherein the electromagnetic waves being infrared or terahertz electromagnetic waves

    [0024] In an embodiment, use of a portable THZ or IR (Infrared) device will allow a flat surface or a double surface probe to be placed on the skin or gum tissue, over the lower or upper jaw bone, through a stent that fits securely, repetitiously and consistently over the upper or lower jaw.

    [0025] In an alternative embodiment and as seen in Fig. 3, the electromagnetic waves are transmitted/detected to/from a diagnostic probe 40, 40' from a spectrometer 50, configured to measure electromagnetic waves having a frequency of between about 100 GHz to about 430 THz, or any portions or segments thereof. As shown herein, a flat surface diagnostic probe 40' can be placed in proximity to the jawbone 10, and/or a double or multiple surface diagnostic probe 40 having a plurality or arms. As shown in Fig. 3, the probe 40 has a first arm 42 and a second arm 44, which can be placed in proximity to the teeth 18 or bone 10, such that the first arm 42 of the probe extends along a lingual surface of the teeth or bone, while an opposite arm or second arm 44 extends along a buccal surface of the teeth or bone. In other words, the plurality of arms 42, 44 of the probe 40 straddle opposing sides of the teeth 18 of bone 10. The computer 30 is configured to receive the electromagnetic "fingerprint" spectra waves transmitted through the bone and to detect minute changes in the density of the bone, over the course of treatment using the anti-resorptive therapeutics.

    [0026] Although not shown, it is further contemplated herein that the probe 40, 40' could be used in conjunction with a stent 20. In such an embodiment, and as would be understood by one of ordinary skill in the art, the stent 20, which in an embodiment, has been customized for the particular, individual patient, would be used by the practitioner for locating the individual areas of the jaw to be measured.

    [0027] It is well understood by those of ordinary skill in the art that the use of ionizing radiation is cumulative and harmful when used numerous times over a long period of time. Hence, according to an aspect, the patient may benefit from an alternate technique, which uses non-ionizing electromagnetic waves that can be used multiple times without the harmful side effects of the ionizing radiation such as X-rays and gamma rays. The shorter wavelengths of the infrared band will result in more clear spatial resolution and are therefore more accurate for diagnosis and identification of these subtle tissue changes. There have been many in vitro experiments in dentistry to determine the characteristics of enamel and dentin in detecting changes that can occur in these tissues in early dental caries.

    [0028] In soft tissue studies, THz radiation was able to differentiate between the normal versus the diseased tissue even when compared with a conventional in vitro histological test. The objective according to an embodiment is to diagnose the extent of the diseased tissue (cancer of the oral soft tissue or skin) and in the process, conservatively remove as little of the surrounding healthy tissue as possible. An abnormal oral tissue (tongue, gum, inside of the cheek) to the naked eye or touch, can be evaluated first with the use of infrared radiation, which can distinguish quite accurately between normal tissue and abnormal or cancerous tissue. In an embodiment, the invasive nature of diseased tissue can also be detected, in an effort to establish a more conservative yet accurate approach to its treatment.

    [0029] Similarly, according to an aspect, this technology can be used to view the internal tissue integrity such as tonsillar, genitourinary and the upper or lower gastrointestinal passages. In this alternative embodiment as shown in Fig. 4, the THz spectrometer 50 transmits/receives waves through an endoscopic probe 60 to detect unhealthy tissue 70 endoscopically. In this embodiment, the flexible endoscopic device with THz probe arrangement 60 is used, and the internal tissue 70 surfaces are scanned with the use of the THz radiation and fed back to the spectrometer machine 50 for analysis and diagnosis in a 3D format. In an embodiment, the endoscopic probe 60 has a plurality of transducers 62 arranged along the surface of the probe 60 for transmitting and detecting the infrared waves to detect tissue abnormalities.

    [0030] According to an aspect, computerized diagnostic three-dimensional illustrative models can be generated, which can be used to plan for surgical procedures. Examples whereby such models would be beneficial include those in the field of craniofacial surgery in congenitally deformed patients, orthognathic surgery (surgery to correct conditions of the jaw and face related to structure, growth, sleep apnea, TMJ disorders, malocclusion problems owing to skeletal disharmonies, or other orthodontic problems that cannot be easily treated with braces) or dental implant placement in the jawbone. Additionally, in head and neck cancer therapy, for example, prior to elimination of the diseased tissues, it is essential to delineate the extent of pathology in the affected area. Subsequent surgery and/or ionizing radiation therapy to the region is then necessary to treat the disease. THz radiation can be instrumental in planning a conservative mapping of the diseased area in an attempt to identify the extent of pathology and minimize damage to the healthy surrounding tissue. In a further embodiment, the computer is configured to evaluate progression of tissue healing, secondary to ONJ.

    [0031] The components and methods illustrated are not limited to the specific embodiments described herein, but rather, features illustrated or described as part of one embodiment can be used on or in conjunction with other embodiments to yield yet a further embodiment. It is intended that the embodiments include such modifications and variations. Further, steps described in the method may be utilized independently and separately from other steps described herein.

    [0032] While the embodiments have been described with reference to a preferred embodiment, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes may be made and equivalents may be substituted for elements thereof without departing from the scope of the disclosure. In addition, many modifications may be made to adapt a particular situation or material to the teachings without departing from the essential scope thereof.

    [0033] In this specification and the claims that follow, reference will be made to a number of terms that have the following meanings. The singular forms "a," "an" and "the" include plural referents unless the context clearly dictates otherwise. Furthermore, references to "an embodiment" are not intended to be interpreted as excluding the existence of additional embodiments that also incorporate the recited features.

    [0034] Advances in science and technology may make equivalents and substitutions possible that are not now contemplated by reason of the imprecision of language; these variations should be covered by the appended claims. This written description uses examples to disclose the various embodiments, including the best mode, and also to enable any person of ordinary skill in the art to practice the embodiments, including making and using any devices or systems and performing any incorporated methods. The patentable scope is defined by the claims.


    Claims

    1. An apparatus for measuring hard and/or soft tissue abnormalities incidental to dental and/or systemic disease, comprising:

    a stent (20) that fits over a patient's teeth and selected to overlay a patient's hard and/or soft tissue, wherein the stent (20) comprises a plurality of detection ports (26) positioned along the stent, the plurality of detection ports being selected for positioning adjacent differing density found in the hard and/or soft tissue of the patient, wherein

    at least a pair of the plurality of detection ports comprise a buccal-side (21) detection port (26) and a lingual-side (23) detection port, the lingual-side detection port being positioned opposite the buccal-side detection port; and,

    a diagnostic device (100) configured for transmitting and receiving non-ionizing electromagnetic waves to measure the patient's hard and/or soft tissue abnormalities associated with the underlying hard and/or soft tissue adjacent the plurality of detection ports, wherein

    the diagnostic device is configured to transmit the electromagnetic waves from the buccal-side (21) detection port (26), through a bone of a patient, and the lingual-side (23) detection port is configured to receive the electromagnetic waves, such that changes occurring in the patient's bone density and/or bone vascular perfusion are repetitiously and accurately measured, and

    the diagnostic device is configured to initiate electromagnetic waves being infrared or terahertz electromagnetic waves.


     
    2. The apparatus of Claim 1, wherein the pairs of detection ports are positioned along an edge of the stent.
     
    3. The apparatus of Claim 1, wherein the diagnostic device (100) comprises wires (22/24) connected to at least a portion of the plurality of detection ports at a first end and the wires being connected to a computer (30) at a second end, the wires being configured for transmitting the electromagnetic waves and receiving data associated therewith, and the computer configured for calculating, from the received data, the bone density and/or bone vascular perfusion adjacent and across each of the plurality of detection ports.
     
    4. The apparatus of Claim 1, wherein the stent (20) is customizable and sized to overlay the patient's hard and/or soft tissue.
     
    5. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein a pair of the plurality of detection ports comprises a buccal-side (21) detection port (26) and a lingual-side (23) detection port (26) positioned opposite the buccal-side detection port; and,
    wherein the apparatus comprises:

    a diagnostic probe (40, 40'), the diagnostic probe being configured to transmit and receive the electromagnetic waves when positioned adjacent the pair of the plurality of detection ports; and

    a computer (30) connected to the diagnostic probe, the computer being configured for calculating the bone density and/or bone vascular perfusion adjacent and across each of the pair of the plurality of detection ports,

    wherein the electromagnetic waves transmitted to or received from the diagnostic probe (40, 40') are from a spectrometer (50) configured to measure electromagnetic waves having a frequency of between about 100 GHz (0.1 THz) to about 430 THz.


     
    6. The apparatus of Claim 5, wherein the pair of detection ports are positioned along an edge of the stent (20).
     
    7. The apparatus of Claim 5 or Claim 6, wherein the stent (20) is customizable and sized to overlay each patient's hard and/or soft tissue.
     
    8. The apparatus of Claim 4 or 7, wherein the computer (30) is configured to produce three dimensional images for mapping surgical procedures.
     
    9. The apparatus of Claim 5, wherein the diagnostic probe (40, 40') comprises a portable Infrared device that allows a single, flat surface or a plurality of surfaces to be placed on the patient's skin or gum tissue.
     
    10. The apparatus of Claim 5, wherein the diagnostic probe (40, 40') is configured for use in diagnosing the patient's soft tissue, the soft tissue being an internal body cavity soft tissue.
     
    11. The apparatus of Claim 5 or 8, wherein the computer (30) is configured to evaluate progression of tissue healing, secondary to osteonecrosis of the jaw.
     
    12. The apparatus of Claim 5, wherein the diagnostic probe (40, 40') is configured for use in detection of the patient's bone loss and diseased hard tissue.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Vorrichtung zum Messen von Anomalien von hartem und/oder weichem Gewebe, die mit Zahn- und/oder Systemerkrankungen in Zusammenhang stehen, umfassend:

    einen Stent (20), der über die Zähne eines Patienten passt und ausgewählt ist, um das harte und/oder weiche Gewebe eines Patienten zu überlagern, wobei der Stent (20) eine Vielzahlvon entlang des Stents positionierten Detektionsöffnungen (26) umfasst, wobei die Vielzahlvon Detektionsöffnungen zum Positionieren benachbart zu unterschiedlicher Dichte ausgewählt ist, die im harten und/oder weichen Gewebe des Patienten gefunden wird, wobei

    mindestens ein Paar von der Vielzahl von Detektionsöffnungen eine Detektionsöffnung (26) für die bukkale Seite (21) und eine Detektionsöffnung für die linguale Seite (23) umfasst, wobei die Detektionsöffnung für die linguale Seite gegenüber der Detektionsöffnung für die bukkale Seite positioniert ist; und,

    eine Diagnosevorrichtung (100), die konfiguriert ist, um nichtionisierende elektromagnetische Wellen zu senden und zu empfangen, um die Anomalien von hartem und/oder weichem Gewebe des Patienten zu messen, die mit dem darunter liegenden harten und/oder weichen Gewebe benachbart zu der Vielzahl von Detektionsöffnungen verbunden sind, wobei

    die Diagnosevorrichtung konfiguriert ist, um die elektromagnetischen Wellen von der Detektionsöffnung (26) der bukkalen Seite (21) durch einen Knochen eines Patienten zu übertragen,und die Detektionsöffnung der lingualen Seite (23) konfiguriert ist, um die elektromagnetischen Wellen zu empfangen, derart, dass Änderungen der Knochendichte und/oder der Knochengefäßperfusion des Patienten wiederholt und genau gemessen werden, und

    die Diagnosevorrichtung konfiguriert ist, um elektromagnetische Wellen als elektromagnetische Infrarot- oder Terahertz-Wellen auszulösen.


     
    2. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 1, wobei die Paare von Detektionsöffnungen entlang einer Kante des Stents positioniert sind.
     
    3. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 1, wobei die Diagnosevorrichtung (100) Drähte (22/24) umfasst, die an einem ersten Ende mit mindestens einem Teil von der Vielzahl von Detektionsöffnungen verbunden sind, und die Drähte an einem zweiten Ende mit einem Computer (30) verbunden sind, wobei die Drähte konfiguriert sind, um die elektromagnetischen Wellen zu senden und damit verbundene Daten zu empfangen, und der Computer konfiguriert ist, um aus den empfangenen Daten die Knochendichte und/oder die Knochengefäßperfusion benachbart zu und über jede von der Vielzahl von Detektionsöffnungen zu berechnen.
     
    4. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 1, wobei der Stent (20) anpassbar und dimensioniert ist, um das harte und/oder weiche Gewebe des Patienten zu überlagern.
     
    5. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 1, wobei ein Paar von der Vielzahl von Detektionsöffnungen eine Detektionsöffnung (26) für die bukkale Seite (21) und eine Detektionsöffnung (26) für die linguale Seite (23) umfasst, die gegenüber der Detektionsöffnung für die bukkale Seite positioniert ist; und,
    wobei die Vorrichtung umfasst:

    eine Diagnosesonde (40, 40'), wobei die Diagnosesonde konfiguriert ist, um die elektromagnetischen Wellen zu senden und zu empfangen, wenn sie benachbart zu dem Paar von der Vielzahl von Detektionsöffnungen positioniert ist; und

    einen Computer (30), der mit der Diagnosesonde verbunden ist, wobei der Computer konfiguriert ist, um die Knochendichte und/oder die Knochengefäßperfusion benachbart zu und über jedes von dem Paar von der Vielzahl von Detektionsöffnungen zu berechnen,

    wobei die von der Diagnosesonde (40, 40') gesendeten oder empfangenen elektromagnetischen Wellen von einem Spektrometer (50) stammen, das konfiguriert ist, um elektromagnetische Wellen zu messen, die eine Frequenz zwischen etwa 100 GHz (0,1 THz) bis etwa 430 THz aufweisen.


     
    6. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 5, wobei das Paar von Detektionsöffnungen entlang einer Kante des Stents (20) positioniert ist.
     
    7. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 5 oder Anspruch 6, wobei der Stent (20) anpassbar und dimensioniert ist, um das harte und/oder weiche Gewebe jedes Patienten zu überlagern.
     
    8. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 4 oder 7, wobei der Computer (30) konfiguriert ist, um dreidimensionale Bilder zum Abbilden chirurgischer Verfahren zu erzeugen.
     
    9. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 5, wobei die Diagnosesonde (40, 40') eine tragbare Infrarotvorrichtung umfasst, die es ermöglicht, eine einzelne flache Oberfläche oder eine Vielzahl von Oberflächen auf der Haut oder dem Zahnfleisch des Patienten zu platzieren.
     
    10. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 5, wobei die Diagnosesonde (40, 40') zur Verwendung bei der Diagnose des weichen Gewebes des Patienten konfiguriert ist, wobei das weiche Gewebe ein weiches Gewebe der inneren Körperhöhle ist.
     
    11. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 5 oder 8, wobei der Computer (30) konfiguriert ist, um das Fortschreiten der Gewebeheilung infolge einer Osteonekrose des Kiefers zu bewerten.
     
    12. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 5, wobei die diagnostische Sonde (40, 40') zur Verwendung bei der Detektion des Knochenverlusts und des erkrankten harten Gewebes des Patienten konfiguriert ist.
     


    Revendications

    1. Appareil pour mesurer des anomalies de tissu dur et/ou mou suite à une maladie dentaire et/ou systémique, comprenant :

    un stent (20) qui s'adapte sur les dents d'un patient et sélectionné pour recouvrir un tissu dur et/ou mou de patient, dans lequel le stent (20) comprend une pluralité d'orifices de détection (26) positionnés le long du stent, la pluralité d'orifices de détection étant sélectionnée pour positionner une densité différente adjacente se trouvant dans le tissu dur et/ou mou du patient, dans lequel

    au moins une paire de la pluralité d'orifices de détection comprend un orifice de détection (26) côté buccal (21) et un orifice de détection côté lingual (23), l'orifice de détection côté lingual étant positionné à l'opposé de l'orifice de détection côté buccal ; et,

    un dispositif de diagnostic (100) configuré pour émettre et recevoir des ondes électromagnétiques non ionisantes afin de mesurer les anomalies de tissu dur et/ou mous du patient associées au tissu dur et/ou mou sous-jacent adjacent à la pluralité d'orifices de détection, dans lequel

    le dispositif de diagnostic est configuré pour émettre les ondes électromagnétiques depuis l'orifice de détection (26) côté buccal (21), à travers un os d'un patient, et l'orifice de détection côté lingual (23) est configuré pour recevoir les ondes électromagnétiques, de sorte que les changements survenant dans la densité osseuse et/ou la perfusion vasculaire osseuse du patient sont mesurés de manière répétitive et précise, et

    le dispositif de diagnostic est configuré pour déclencher des ondes électromagnétiques qui sont des ondes électromagnétiques infrarouges ou térahertz.


     
    2. Appareil selon la revendication 1, dans lequel les paires d'orifices de détection sont positionnées le long d'un bord du stent.
     
    3. Appareil selon la revendication 1, dans lequel le dispositif de diagnostic (100) comprend des fils (22/24) connectés à au moins une partie de la pluralité d'orifices de détection au niveau d'une première extrémité et les fils étant connectés à un ordinateur (30) au niveau d'une seconde à l'extrémité, les fils étant configurés pour émettre les ondes électromagnétiques et recevoir les données associées à celles-ci, et l'ordinateur étant configuré pour calculer, à partir des données reçues, la densité osseuse et/ou la perfusion vasculaire osseuse adjacente chacun de la pluralité d'orifices de détection et à travers celui-ci.
     
    4. Appareil selon la revendication 1, dans lequel le stent (20) est personnalisable et dimensionné pour recouvrir le tissu dur et/ou mou du patient.
     
    5. Appareil selon la revendication 1, dans lequel une paire de la pluralité d'orifices de détection comprend un orifice de détection côté buccal (21) (26) et un orifice de détection côté lingual (23) (26) positionné à l'opposé de l'orifice de détection côté buccal ; et,
    dans lequel l'appareil comprend :

    une sonde de diagnostic (40, 40'), la sonde de diagnostic étant configurée pour émettre et recevoir les ondes électromagnétiques lorsqu'elle est positionnée adjacente à la paire de la pluralité de ports de détection ; et

    un ordinateur (30) connecté à la sonde de diagnostic, l'ordinateur étant configuré pour calculer la densité osseuse et/ou la perfusion vasculaire osseuse adjacente chacun des paires de la pluralité d'orifices de détection et à travers celui-ci,

    dans lequel les ondes électromagnétiques émises vers ou reçues de la sonde de diagnostic (40, 40') proviennent d'un spectromètre (50) configuré pour mesurer des ondes électromagnétiques ayant une fréquence comprise entre environ 100 GHz (0,1 THz) et environ 430 THz.


     
    6. Appareil selon la revendication 5, dans lequel la paire d'orifices de détection est positionnée le long d'un bord du stent (20).
     
    7. Appareil selon la revendication 5 ou la revendication 6, dans lequel le stent (20) est personnalisable et dimensionné pour recouvrir le tissu dur et/ou mou de chaque patient.
     
    8. Appareil selon la revendication 4 ou 7, dans lequel l'ordinateur (30) est configuré pour produire des images tridimensionnelles pour cartographier des interventions chirurgicales.
     
    9. Appareil selon la revendication 5, dans lequel la sonde de diagnostic (40, 40') comprend un dispositif infrarouge portable qui permet le placement d'une surface plane unique ou d'une pluralité de surfaces sur la peau ou le tissu gingival du patient.
     
    10. Appareil selon la revendication 5, dans lequel la sonde de diagnostic (40, 40') est configurée pour être utilisée pour diagnostiquer le tissu mou du patient, le tissu mou étant un tissu mou de cavité corporelle interne.
     
    11. Appareil selon la revendication 5 ou 8, dans lequel l'ordinateur (30) est configuré pour évaluer la progression de la cicatrisation d'un tissu, consécutivement à l'ostéonécrose de la mâchoire.
     
    12. Appareil selon la revendication 5, dans lequel la sonde de diagnostic (40, 40') est configurée pour être utilisée dans la détection de la perte osseuse du patient et du tissu dur malade.
     




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    Cited references

    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description