PhD Studentship: Developing novel bioactive restorative materials
Applications are invited for a 3-year PhD Studentship starting October 2018.
This work will focus on gingival recession and the use of smart dental material in order to mitigate it. Gingival recession is prevalent in the adult population with studies suggesting that approximately 50% of the population has one or more recession defects this increases to 88% in over 65 year olds.
Gingival recession can be caused by a number of factors including periodontal disease (and its treatment), traumatic tooth brushing, and occlusal trauma ultimately resulting in thermal sensitivity and aesthetic concerns. Such defects expose the root surface to acidic dietary components and this along with traumatic tooth brushing can result in development of class 5 erosion/abrasion lesions and the possibility of root caries.
These lesions are frequently managed by using resin-based restorations in order to replace lost tooth tissue and protect exposed dentine; however, such restorations predispose the patient to plaque accumulation at the gingival margin, increased gingival inflammation and further recession. Current restorative materials are not fully biocompatible and are not able to support gingival tissue attachment.
This study therefore proposes restorative material re-engineering in order to promote epithelial cell adhesion whilst inhibiting bacterial colonisation. This will be achieved by incorporating bioactive components and surface topography modification to commercially available restorative materials.
Development of new bioactive materials offers the potential to drive favourable biological responses in the gingival tissues, which will help in the management of recession defects. Currently correction of such defects is only possible using expensive and complex surgical procedures that are only applicable to a small proportion of the population.
The aims of this study is to develop new bioactive restorative materials that prevent biofilm production as well as promoting epithelial attachment.
- Investigate the influence of restorative surface treatment on (i) epithelial cell attachment, (ii) bacterial colonisation and biofilm development
- Investigate bioactive molecules and their ability to promote epithelial cell attachment
- Investigate incorporation of bioactive components into conventional restorative materials and subsequently to determine bioactivity of the new restorative formulation
- Investigate antimicrobial properties of the new materials
Applicants should have a strong background in material science, biology, microbiology. They should have a commitment to research and hold or realistically expect to obtain at least an Upper Second Class Honours Degree in dentistry, microbiology, engineering.
How to apply
British and EU nationality applicants might be eligible for both the cost of tuition fees and a yearly stipend (at RCUK rate) over the course of the PhD programme.