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Image Guided New Biomaterials

Image Guided New Biomaterials for Dental Restorations

Sponsored by the Institute for Advanced Materials, Case Western Reserve University
Project Period: November 1, 2011 – December 31, 2013


The objective of our research is to develop a new class of functional biomaterials as well as to improve clinical image tools to fabricate complex forms and shapes of dental restorations. This research is highly translational and can lead to patentable results. There are three phases of the project: (1). development of new biomaterials; (2). new image tool design, and (3). animal and human clinical testing. These phases will be based on synergy of imaging and new materials development for dental restorations. This project meets the call for image-guided biomaterials development. The combined effort of Case Dental, Engineering, and Medical Schools would open a new path for advancing image technology and to new biomaterials for clinical dental and orthopedic applications.

The goal is to design a new class of functional titanium based alloys for health restoring and health-supporting applications. The new biomaterials are alloys and composites, tailored in composition and structure for thermo-chemical and thermo-physical compatibility and for biochemical, biophysical, mechanical, and esthetic functionality. They are shaped using rapid imaging in either a patient’s mouth or in in-situ models and by computer-assisted design followed by computer-assisted manufacturing (CAD/CAM) to yield a finished dental restoration or an implantable part.

If successful, our image-guided new biomaterials for dental restorations would significantly lower the cost for dental patients and dentists by replacing expensive gold alloys. Our new biomaterials will be up to three orders of magnitude cheaper than gold alloys and one-third price of the currently used ceramic materials. They also will overcome fracturing problems associated with dental ceramic restorations. The improved computer image designs will provide more accurate functional restorations and multiple-unit long span bridge restorations for millions of partially edentulous patients. The new biomaterials also have a potential for clinical orthopedic applications.

Project Team

Russell Wang, DDS, PhD – Department of Comprehensive Care

Malcolm Cooke, PhD - Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, School of Engineering

Edward Greenfield, PhD - Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, School of Medicine

Wyatt Newman, PhD - Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, School of Engineering

Gerhard Welsch, PhD - Department of Materials Science and Engineering, School of Engineering

Dr. Russell Wang

Dr. Russell Wang, DDS, PhD
Principal Investigator