Application of Image Compression Ratio Analysis as a Method for Quantifying Complexity of Dental Enamel Microstructure.Anat Rec (Hoboken) 2019AR
It is well recognized that enamel microanatomy in mammals reflects biomechanical demands placed upon teeth, as determined by mechanical properties of species' diets, use of teeth as weapons, and so forth. However, there are limited options for researchers wishing to perform large-scale comparisons of enamel microstructure with adaptive questions in mind. This is because to date there has been no efficient method for quantification and statistical analysis of enamel complexity. Our study proposes to apply a method previously developed for quantification of 3D tooth cusp morphology to the problem of quantifying microstructural enamel complexity. Here, we use image compression ratio (ICR) as a proxy variable for enamel complexity in 2D enamel photomicrographs taken using circularly polarized transmitted light microscopy. ICR describes the relationship between a digital image captured in an uncompressed file format and the identical image that has had its file size compressed using computer algorithms; more complex images receive less compression. In our analyses, ICR analysis is able to distinguish between images of teeth with simple, radial enamel and teeth with complex decussating enamel. Moreover, our results show a significant correlation between ICR and enamel complexity ranks assigned via visual assessment. Therefore, our results demonstrate that ICR analysis provides a viable methodology for efficient comparison of overall enamel complexity among dental samples. Anat Rec, 2019. © 2019 American Association for Anatomy.