1. PART I: BASIC RESEARCH CONTRIBUTION
Chronic wounds and tissue modulation: Wound repair involve complex interplay between extracellular matrix, endogenous cells, and immune cells, resulting in the induction of inflammatory mediators and proteases. Over 90% of chronic oral wounds are mediated by tenacious bacterial biofilm. Antibiotics are often inadequate to overcome biofilms and adjunctive therapies are prerequisite. The goal is to achieve self-limiting, regulated host-immune response as a strategy to treat chronic wounds. This strategy is an answer to the rising concern of antibiotic resistance worldwide. The engineered nanoparticles have been optimized to perform multiple functions such as reverse disease mediated alterations in hard tissues, improve fracture toughness, inactivate host derived proteases and induce biomineralization.
Host signalling and cellular response in bacteria-mediated infection: Crosstalk of endogenous tissue cells and immune cells results in distinct inflammatory mediators that regulates the balance between health and disease. We have developed in vitro models to study the interaction between host cells and microbial/non-microbial factors that mediates inflammation. These experiments are essential to better understand the mechanisms underlying disease and healing. We have also developed in vitro disease models and assays to assess therapeutic efficacies quantitatively and qualitatively.
Hard tissue biomechanics: We employ optical interferometry-based techniques which are highly sensitive methods with high-resolution, to characterize dental hard tissue, under physiologically relevant conditions. Our studies highlighted a distinct structure to function relationships in dento-osseous structures. We have previously optimized miniaturized models to study biomechanical response, fluid dynamics and drug delivery.
2. PART II: CLINICAL RESEARCH TRANSLATION
• Tooth sensitivity varnish
• Antibacterial oral health varnish
• Chronic wound healing strategy
• Root canal treatment solutions
The science of nanotherapeutics developed in our research program will be the foundation for future strategies aimed to prevent / treat bacteria driven dental diseases as well as chronic wounds. Our research will provide experts in dental biomaterial, oral biologists and dental industry, systems for (a) in-depth understanding of health / disease and (b) high-throughput testing of medications. Furthermore, our research program will provide a multidisciplinary and highly mentored training program for post-graduate students to develop into next generation leaders in these growing areas of oral health and chronic wound research.