Dental materials science: HZB is part of a research project funded by DFG

Artificial and natural interzones on a tooth restored with non-degradable biomaterials are exposed to mechanical (left: stresses acting in compression, tension and shear) and biological challenges (right: bacterial attachment, penetration, and other interactions with biological media).

Artificial and natural interzones on a tooth restored with non-degradable biomaterials are exposed to mechanical (left: stresses acting in compression, tension and shear) and biological challenges (right: bacterial attachment, penetration, and other interactions with biological media). © P. Zaslansky/Charité.

How can dental restorations – such as fillings and crowns – be made to last longer? A new research group centered at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and Technische Universität (TU) Berlin plans to address this topic by utilizing approaches from both materials science and dentistry. The interdisciplinary ‘InterDent’ research group is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). It will receive an initial funding of €2.1 million Euro over three years. Partners also include the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces (MPI-KG).

The goal of the team is to create better dental materials by shedding light on the ways in which different materials interact with the surrounding tissues. One of the sub-projects aims at predicting the way in which dentine (the hard bony tissue that makes up the tooth´s core) changes over time, depending on the material used for the filling to which it is attached. Employing non-destructive, highly sensitive, high-resolution technology, the researchers will study the microstructure and chemical characteristics of dentine, tracking progressive changes over time as part of an  aging process known as ‘sclerosis’. “We want to use this approach in order to develop a model of sclerotic dentine which will enable us to gain a better understanding of changes in its structure and composition,” says Dr. Ioanna Mantouvalou of the HZB, who leads the sub-project together with Dr. Paul Zaslansky, the research group’s spokesperson, who is project leader at Charité’s Institute of Dental, Oral and Maxillary Medicine.



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