The University of Iowa College of Dentistry and Dental Clinics logoLink to University of Iowa home pageLink to University of Iowa home pageLink to College of Dentistry and Dental Clinics home page

college of dentistry mission graphic

Bioengineering, Tissue Engineering, Stem Cells, Biomaterials & Materials Research

Degradable polymeric nanoparticleDegradable polymeric nanoparticleHEK293 cell transfected with nanorodsHEK293 cell transfected with nanorodsSpatial control over cell binding on degradable polymer substrateSpatial control over cell binding on degradable polymer substrate

The replacement of tissues and organs with synthetic materials has become an increasingly important therapeutic modality and raises important questions about tissue response to a variety of substances. In dentistry, the clinical use of dental implants has intensified interest in collegiate faculty research, which examines changes in implant surfaces that may affect the attachment of soft tissue to implant surfaces, facilitate integration of a prosthesis with bone, or address the relationship between osteoporosis and oral health.  Technologies and applications that involve biomaterials and tissue engineering. Applications include: restorative material adhesion,  osseous tissue reconstruction, tooth replacement therapies

Dr. Brad A. Amendt
Dr. Amendt's research focuses on studying the expression and regulation of transcription factor genes and signaling processes involved in craniofacial/tooth development, the molecular basis of selected human genetic disorders, and the role of stem cells and microRNAs in regulating craniofacial and regenerative medicine.
Dr. Maged Abdelaal
Dr. Steven Armstrong
Dr. Armstrong's primary research focus is adhesion of restorative materials to enamel and dentin.
Dr. Gustavo Avila-Ortiz
Alveolar bone, including understanding healing dynamics based on local and systemic individual patient features; analysis of site-specific factors that determine bone quality; evaluation of therapeutic strategies to prevent alveolar ridge resorption after tooth loss; implant site development techniques, in particular, sinus floor elevation.
Dr. Jeffrey Banas
Dr. Banas's broad research interest is the understanding of the pathogenic mechanisms of bacteria. Much of his work has focused on the microbiology of dental caries. His lab has extensively studied how the glucan-binding proteins (GBPs) synthesized by Streptococcus mutans contribute to the development of the plaque biofilm and ultimately dental caries. Since glucan -- a polymer of glucose derived from the metabolism of sucrose -- is a primary virulence factor that propels the change in microbial ecology that leads to a cariogenic plaque, it has been proposed that proteins that have the property of binding glucan play accessory roles in this process. It is now clear that the GBPs share in structurally supporting the biofilm, each doing so in a unique manner. These studies also revealed that the relative coverage of bacteria at the substratum surface of the biofilm was correlated with the risk of caries development. Dr. Banas's lab is also collaborating with College of Dentistry colleagues to investigate whether oral streptococci other than S. mutans are involved in the early stages of dental decay. Other collaborations, both within and outside the College of Dentistry, foster work to identify novel agents to specifically target cariogenic bacterial species, to coat dental materials with antimicrobials, to examine the microflora associated with localized aggressive periodontitis, and to investigate potential cariogenic properties associated with multiple bacterial species common to dental plaque.
Dr. Christopher Barwacz
Dr. Barwacz's areas of research include human clinical translational research in dental implant therapy; peri-implant crevicular fluid cytokine and bone-mediator expression; peri-implant mucosal esthetics; implant-abutment biomaterials and surface topography; minimally-invasive, microscope-based dentistry; dental ceramics; and translational human in-situ caries model research.
Dr. David Bohnenkamp
Dr. Piriya Boonsiriphant
Dr. Boonsiriphant's research is focused on ceramic materials for dental applications.
Dr. Kim Brogden
Dr. Brogden's research focuses on the ability of peptides in saliva (defensins, histatins, etc.) to serve as downstream suppressors of cytokine signaling to recombinant hemagglutinin B (HagB) from the periodontal pathogen Porphyromonas gingivalis. In his work, they have found that human β defensin 3 (HBD3) has the capacity to influence the chemokine and cytokine responses of human dendritic cells: the timing of HBD3 exposure and the concentration of HBD3 treaatment of dendritic cells were both important in the onset, magnitude, and composition of the dendritic cell response to HagB. The mechanism may involve binding of HBD3 to HagB: HBD3 binds to immobilized HagB via surface plasmon spectroscopy and via ELISA and HBD3 inhibits binding of rHagB via surface plasmon spectroscopy and via ELISA and HBD3 inhibits binding of rHagB to cells via confocal microscopy and immunoelectron microscopy. Future research will determine the extent to which defensins can suppress early events in inflammation, an exciting concept that could be exploited to develop therapeutics to prevent or treat a variety of oral mucosal infections, particularly where inflammation plays a role in the pathogenesis of disease and its long-term sequelae.
Dr. Richard Burton
Dr. Huojun Cao
Dr. Azeez Butali
Dr. Robert Cornell
Dr. Isabelle Denry
Ceramics for biomedical applications: development and characterization; characterization of dental ceramics: crystalline phases, microstructure, structure/properties relationships; development of dental ceramics with tailored properties; leucite-containing ceramics, zirconia-based ceramics; resorbable 3-D ceramic scaffolds for bone tissue replacement.
Dr. Ana Diaz-Arnold
Dr. Martine Dunnwald
Dr. Dunnwald's research interests involve skin, epidermal development and regeneration, and orofacial clefts.
Dr. Satheesh Elangovan
Developing and testing biomaterials for the purpose of periodontal and bone tissue engineering. Other interests include studying the interactions between biomaterials and biomolecules such as proteins, as well as DNA.
Dr. Steven Fletcher
Dr. Kirk Fridrich
Dr. Lily T. Garcia
Dr. Garcia's research interests include the evaluation of loading protocol on implants placed in grafted and non-grafted host bone sites, exploring teaching methodologies such as evaluation of a pilot PBL project in removable prosthodontics preclinical curriculum, evaluating mandibular denture retention with and without adhesive, and evaluating and utilizing new technology to record movement of prostheses intraorally.
Dr. Carolina Garcia Martinez
Dr. David Gratton
Dr. John Hellstein
Dr. Ryan Hill
Dr. Julie A. Holloway
Dental ceramics and dental implant materials sciences.
Dr. Nathan Holton
Dr. Liu Hong
Adult stem cell-based craniofacial tissue engineering, including stem cell biology, in vitro and in vivo bone, cartilage and adipose regeneration, MR monitoring of engineered tissues.
Dr. Yung Shen Huang
Dr. Georgia K. Johnson
Effects of tobacco products on periodontal host response and the impact of smoking on periodontal treatment outcomes; the role of naturally occurring antimicrobial peptides in periodontal disease and clinical dental implant research.
Dr. William Johnson
Dr. John Keller
Biological responses to biomedical materials, especially implants and bone substitute materials; characteristics of implant surfaces; mechanics of implant retention.
Dr. Douglas Kendrick
Dr. Terry Lindquist
Dr. Lindquist's areas of research include material wear and dental materials.
Dr. Peter Lund
Dr. Lund's research includes dental materials; color in dentistry (color and translucency of dental materials and oral tissues, color measurement methodology; instrumental shade determination); evaluation of prosthodontic clinical techniques; implant prosthodontics; and education research.
Dr. Carrie McKnight
Dr. Lina Moreno
Dr. Moreno-Uribe's research interest focuses on performing a genome-wide search for genes that affect growth of the human face using whole genome association methods and the latest technology for facial imaging. She wants to identify genotype-phenotype correlations that contribute to the development of an individual's maxillo-mandibular complex. This knowledge will likely result in development of an individual's maxillo-mandibular complex. This knowledge will also likely result in the development of novel orthodontic and maxillofacial therapies that will benefit our patients.
Dr. Rodrigo Rocha Maia
Dr. Aliasger Salem
Dr. Salem's research interests are primarily focused on self-assembling systems, the rational design of novel drug and gene delivery systems and on the development of sophisticated scaffolds for tissue-specific regeneration. In tissue engineering, Dr. Salem's laboratory applies microfabrication techniques to novel biomaterials to provide spatial control over tissue formation and to integrate minimally invasive scaffold delivery strategies. In drug/gene delivery, he is currently exploring the synergistic application of degradable particle technology, CpG oligonucleotides and heat shock proteins for generating sustained immunotherapeutic responses against cancer.
Dr. Galen Schneider
Bone cell biology as it relates to implant osseointegration and bone tissue engineering. His research interest focus on several questions: 1. How does osteoblast cell adhesion regulate bone growth at the molecular level? 2. Does implant surface microtopography influence osteoblast differentiation? 3. Can bone tissue be engineered using injectable scaffolds? 4. Can three-dimensional environments be used for osseous tissue engineering?
Dr. Kyungsup Shin
Dr. Thomas Southard
Dr. Christopher Squier
For over twenty-five years, Dr. Squier's research has focused on the structure and function of stratified squamous mucosae, with particular regard to the nature of the superficial permeability barrier structure and the role of topical carcinogens and micro-organisms in the pathogenesis of local and systemic disease. Specific areas of interest have been interactions between alcohol and tobacco components in the development of oral cancer and the mechanisms by which Staphylococcae and their toxins are involved in the vaginal pathogenesis of toxic shock syndrome. More recently, he has been concerned with the role of oral health professionals in assisting their patients with tobacco cessation. Dr. Squier has published more than 200 books, chapters, and peer-reviewed articles.
Dr. Kyle Stein
Dr. William Synan
Dr. Erica Teixeira
Dr. Teixeira's research focuses on the development and evaluation of biomaterials and their application to dental public health. Specific areas of interest are mechanical behavior and surface modification of ceramic materials. In addition, her research involves the effect of new techniques/technologies on the interface between tooth and direct and indirect restorative materials.
Dr. Fabricio Teixeira
Dr. Sherry Timmons
Dr. Marcos Vargas
Dental materials: glass ionomers, dentin bonding, composite resins and esthetic dentistry.
Dr. Philip W. Wertz
Dr. Wertz's research focuses on the structures, functions, and metabolism of the lipids of skin and oral epithelium. He has examined the mechanisms by which lipids contribute to the barrier function of skin and oral mucosa, and the relationship of skin and oral mucosa barrier function to transcutaneous delivery of medication. His studies have also included the biochemistry of carcinogensis; essential fatty acids; compositions and structures of lipids of oral mucosa; metabolism of sphingosine and sphingolipids; comparative enzymology of skin and oral epithelium; the chemical synthesis of ceramide analogues; antimicrobial properties of lipids; and the preparation of liposomes for use in drug delivery systems.