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Kasper Laboratory

UTHealth School of Dentistry Research Labs


The Kasper Laboratory applies fundamentals of engineering, materials science, and the biosciences toward the development and evaluation of biomaterial-based technologies to meet clinical needs, with a particular focus on tissue regeneration, cell encapsulation, and the controlled delivery of therapeutics. Each project in the Kasper Laboratory builds upon the foundational concept that tunable material or environmental parameters can be harnessed to direct cellular and tissue interactions, control the delivery of therapeutics, and positively influence clinical outcomes. Examples of research directions in the laboratory include:


Advances in medical imaging and computer-aided manufacturing platforms, such as 3D printing, enable exciting new frontiers in the application of biomaterials for patient care. The Kasper Laboratory leverages these technologies in the development of biomaterial-based approaches to meet clinical needs, with a particular focus on moving and building craniofacial tissue for improved function and esthetics. His laboratory explores emerging applications of 3D printing in dentistry and craniofacial reconstruction, including 3D-printed surgical guides to facilitate dental implant placement and 3D-printed anatomical models for treatment planning. Recent publications from his laboratory report the effects of tunable aspects of the 3D printing process on the potential clinical utility of 3D-printed models and devices for a variety of applications to inform evidence-based implementation of 3D-printing technology in patient care. In parallel with these efforts, Dr. Kasper’s laboratory investigates innovative applications of 3D printing technologies for the production of patient-matched appliances to direct desired movement of craniofacial tissues. Examples include clear orthodontic aligners and esthetic orthodontic brackets to enable orthodontic tooth movement and 3D-printed nasoalveolar molding appliances to facilitate surgical correction of cleft lip and palate. In collaboration with Dr. Simon Young (Assistant Professor, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery), Dr. Kasper investigates pre-clinical application of 3D-printed scaffolds to support craniofacial bone regeneration in clinically relevant models, which present potential to impact repair of craniofacial defects arising from birth defects, cancer, and trauma.


Tremendous effort has been invested in the development of biomaterials capable of actively promoting tissue regeneration, especially in defects affecting musculoskeletal tissues such as bone and cartilage. Although synthetic materials provide an excellent and versatile platform for the fabrication of scaffolds to support tissue regeneration, the materials themselves generally lack the biological activity required to promote tissue repair. In order to impart biological activity to synthetic scaffolds, while retaining the versatility of the materials, the Kasper Laboratory leverages the culture of cell populations under engineered conditions on three-dimensional scaffolds to direct the differentiation and phenotypic expression of the cells and to introduce biologically active extracellular matrix components into the constructs for tissue engineering applications.

Lab Team

F. Kurtis Kasper, PhD
Professor; Research Director
[email protected]
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Key Publications

Kenning KB, Risinger DC, English JD, Cozad BE, Harris LM, Ontiveros JC, Kasper FK. Evaluation of the dimensional accuracy of thermoformed appliances taken from 3D printed models with varied shell thicknesses: An in vitro study. Int Orthod. 2021 Feb 4:S1761-7227(21)00009-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ortho.2021.01.005. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33551327.

Pham DM, Gonzalez MD, Ontiveros JC, Kasper FK, Frey GN, Belles DM. Wear Resistance of 3D Printed and Prefabricated Denture Teeth Opposing Zirconia. J Prosthodont. 2021 Jan 24. doi: 10.1111/jopr.13339. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33486808.

Edelmann A, English JD, Chen SJ, Kasper FK. Analysis of the thickness of 3-dimensional-printed orthodontic aligners. Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop. 2020 Nov;158(5):e91-e98. doi: 10.1016/j.ajodo.2020.07.029. PMID: 33131570.

Shen C, Witek L, Flores RL, Tovar N, Torroni A, Coelho PG, Kasper FK, Wong M, Young S. Three-Dimensional Printing for Craniofacial Bone Tissue Engineering. Tissue Eng Part A. 2020 Dec;26(23-24):1303-1311. doi: 10.1089/ten.TEA.2020.0186. Epub 2020 Oct 1. PMID: 32842918; PMCID: PMC7759279.

Piotrowski SL, Wilson L, Maldonado KL, Tailor R, Hill LR, Bankson JA, Lai S, Kasper FK, Young S. Effect of Radiation on DCE-MRI Pharmacokinetic Parameters in a Rabbit Model of Compromised Maxillofacial Wound Healing: A Pilot Study. J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2020 Jun;78(6):1034.e1-1034.e10. doi: 10.1016/j.joms.2020.02.001. Epub 2020 Feb 11. PMID: 32147226.

Loflin WA, English JD, Borders C, Harris LM, Moon A, Holland JN, Kasper FK. Effect of print layer height on the assessment of 3D-printed models. Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop. 2019 Aug;156(2):283-289. doi: 10.1016/j.ajodo.2019.02.013. PMID: 31375239.

Scott JD, English JD, Cozad BE, Borders CL, Harris LM, Moon AL, Kasper FK. Comparison of automated grading of digital orthodontic models and hand grading of 3-dimensionally printed models. Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop. 2019 Jun;155(6):886-890. doi: 10.1016/j.ajodo.2018.11.011. PMID: 31153510.

Cometti PD, English JD, Kasper FK. Efficacy of the mini tooth positioner in improving orthodontic finishes. Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop. 2019 Jun;155(6):844-850. doi: 10.1016/j.ajodo.2018.07.021. PMID: 31153505.

Piotrowski SL, Wilson L, Dharmaraj N, Hamze A, Clark A, Tailor R, Hill LR, Lai S, Kasper FK, Young S. Development and Characterization of a Rabbit Model of Compromised Maxillofacial Wound Healing. Tissue Eng Part C Methods. 2019 Mar;25(3):160-167. doi: 10.1089/ten.TEC.2018.0361. PMID: 30747042; PMCID: PMC6457326.

Camacho KJ, English JD, Jacob HB, Harris LM, Kasper FK, Bussa HI, Quock RL. Silver diamine fluoride and bond strength to enamel in vitro: A pilot study. Am J Dent. 2018 Dec;31(6):317-319. PMID: 30658379.

Short MM , Favero CS , English JD , Kasper FK . Impact of orientation on dimensional accuracy of 3D-printed orthodontic models. J Clin Orthod. 2018 Jan;52(1):13-20. PMID: 29447126.

Favero CS, English JD, Cozad BE, Wirthlin JO, Short MM, Kasper FK. Effect of print layer height and printer type on the accuracy of 3-dimensional printed orthodontic models. Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop. 2017 Oct;152(4):557-565. doi: 10.1016/j.ajodo.2017.06.012. Erratum in: Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop. 2017 Dec;152(6):739. PMID: 28962741.

Kasper FK, Melville J, Shum J, Wong M, Young S. Tissue Engineered Prevascularized Bone and Soft Tissue Flaps. Oral Maxillofac Surg Clin North Am. 2017 Feb;29(1):63-73. doi: 10.1016/j.coms.2016.08.005. PMID: 27890228.

Ledingham AD, English JD, Akyalcin S, Cozad BE, Ontiveros JC, Kasper FK. Accuracy and mechanical properties of orthodontic models printed 3-dimensionally from calcium sulfate before and after various postprinting treatments. Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop. 2016 Dec;150(6):1056-1062. doi: 10.1016/j.ajodo.2016.04.027. PMID: 27894527.

Chiu YC, Fong EL, Grindel BJ, Kasper FK, Harrington DA, Farach-Carson MC. Sustained delivery of recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2 from perlecan domain I - functionalized electrospun poly (ε-caprolactone) scaffolds for bone regeneration. J Exp Orthop. 2016 Dec;3(1):25. doi: 10.1186/s40634-016-0057-1. Epub 2016 Oct 6. PMID: 27714703; PMCID: PMC5053971.

Kesireddy V, Kasper FK. Approaches for building bioactive elements into synthetic scaffolds for bone tissue engineering. J Mater Chem B. 2016 Nov 14;4(42):6773-6786. doi: 10.1039/C6TB00783J. Epub 2016 Sep 9. PMID: 28133536; PMCID: PMC5267491.

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