Bone Regeneration Facilitated by Osteoclast Recruitment
As key regulators of bone turnover, osteoclasts play an important role in maintaining healthy bone tissue. Our goal is to identify and design polymers that can facilitate osteoclast attachment and resorption in an effort to improve vascularization and material resorption during bone regeneration. We use high resolution confocal microscopy and live cell imaging to characterize the osteoclast-polymer interface, which provides additional insight into mechanisms of osteoclast resorption that are undetectable by traditional electron microscopy methods.
Regeneration of Mandibular Jaw Bone and Accompanied Teeth
Our group currently focuses on developing scaffolds that allows mandible bone regeneration together with regrowth of living teeth. Bone part of the scaffolds are produced by combining porogen leaching with freeze drying to incorporate macropores (about 200–400 µm in diameter) and micropores (about 5–20 µm)on the cell scale to create pore structures that almost look as if they were created by living organisms. Additional level of complexity is achieved by incorporating hydrogels into the design which carry dental pulp stem cells in an attempt to regenerate living teeth. Ultimately, these scaffolds are designed for implantation within the mandible to allow the regrowth of living teeth.