Mineralized Tissue Physiology Program

The Mineralized Tissue Physiology Program supports basic and translational science research with particular emphasis in the following areas:

  • Biochemistry, biophysics, and physiochemistry of the regulation of mineralization in enamel, dentin, cementum, and bone
  • Cementum-Dentin-Enamel interfaces
  • Role of unique cell types localized to alveolar and craniofacial bones
  • Orthodontic tooth movement and root resorption
  • Fibrocartilage biology and interaction with other tissues in the temporomandibular joint
  • Activities and functions of ameloblasts, odontoblasts, periodontal ligament cells, cementoblasts, gingival fibroblasts, and pulp cells
  • Interactions between the nervous system and dental and craniofacial skeleton

In addition to these studies, the program also supports development of resources and tools such as:

  • Models for craniofacial skeletal diseases and disorders
  • In vivo and in vitro models of amelogenesis
  • Tools and technologies to structurally and functionally characterize interactions between the dental/craniofacial skeleton and other tissues/cells
  • Non-invasive or non-destructive imaging modalities for mineralized tissues
  • Biomarkers for the detection, diagnosis, and prognosis of craniofacial skeletal diseases and disorders
  • Biomarkers in dental and craniofacial mineralized tissues reflective of health or environmental exposure

Other broad topics of interest relating to the dental and craniofacial skeleton include:

  • Pharmacogenetics and the genetic basis of heterogeneous response to or adverse oral reactions to drugs used in the treatment of craniofacial and oral diseases and disorders
  • Mechanisms of host response and integration of engineered tissues including scaffolds and bioactive gel matrices
  • Signal transduction related to cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions
  • Distraction osteogenesis
  • Matrix biology of collagens, non-collagenous proteins, and proteoglycans
  • Molecular basis of dental fluorosis
  • Molecular mechanisms of action of fluoride on cells and tissues
  • Onset and progression of demineralization and remineralization
  • Microcrack propagation and repair
  • Osseointegration
  • Bone active agents
  • Osteocyte, Osteoblast, and Osteoclast activities
  • Bone homeostasis and remodeling, microenvironment sensing, and role in paracrine signaling
  • Chondrocyte activities and cartilage homeostasis
Last Reviewed
July 2018