Dr. Farach-Carson’s laboratory uses three dimensional models to study the behavior of both cancer cells and normal cells. The Farach-Carson laboratory uses our understanding of extracellular matrix to create “smart” biomaterials that can mimic the native tissue to provide an environment in which to study cell and tissue behavior under physiologically relevant conditions. We partner with the Houston Center for Biomaterials and Biomimetics (HCBB) to create and study these biologically based materials.
Dr. Frey’s research focuses on biomaterials, especially durability and esthetic qualities of dental prosthetics and bonding materials. He has emphasized Pedodontic crowns and various wear, fracture, and cementation studies. He also researches in the study of wear on different enamels (primary and permanent) upon itself and various crown materials. His most recent studies involve gloss, roughness, and their interdependence.
Dr. Harrington has an interest in using biomaterials as tools to expand our knowledge of cellular processes, and improve our ability to impact human health. His projects have spanned applications of soft, biocompatible hydrogels, degradable lactide/glycolide polymeric scaffolds, and self-assembling peptide nanostructures for regenerative medicine. His laboratory’s recent projects involve tissue engineering of the salivary gland as a post-radiotherapy treatment for xerostomia, and “tumor engineering” to study mechanisms of oral cancer and prostate cancer in unique 3D models, adapted to high-throughput screening. By customizing matrices and manufacturing techniques, we design biomimetic solutions that address needs at the cell, tissue, and organ level.
Dr. Ontiveros’ research focuses on in vitro mechanical properties of dental materials; light polymerization; adhesion; ceramic; resin composite; color/optical properties and esthetics. Clinical investigations focus around current techniques related to tooth whitening and other appearance related studies.
Dr. Kasper’s research applies fundamentals of engineering, materials science, and the biosciences toward the development and evaluation of biomaterial-based technologies to meet clinical needs. Current research interests include the application of engineered culture conditions for the development of bioactive constructs for craniofacial and orthopedic tissue regeneration. Additional research focuses on applications of 3D printing and digital technologies in dentistry.
Dr. Kiat-amnuay's research focuses on the areas of maxillofacial prosthetic and prosthodontics. Her team has investigated color stability and mechanical properties of pigmented maxillofacial prosthetic elastomers subjected to artificial/natural weathering and microwave energy. The goal is to find the best combinations of silicone/pigment/opacifier used to make facial prostheses last longer. Several in vivo studies were also performed on adhesive retention of maxillofacial prostheses. In addition, randomized controlled crossover clinical trials related to maxillofacial prosthetic and implant dentistry were conducted to improve patients’ quality of lives. Her group has also studied cement bond strengths of implant-supported ceramic crowns on custom ceramic abutments.