Thursday, October 16, 2014

Nanodiamond-Encrusted Teeth Might Be The Future

UCLA researchers have discovered that diamonds on a much, much smaller scale than those used in jewelry could be utilized to enhance bone development and the durability of dental implants.


Nanodiamonds, which are created as byproducts of refining operations and conventional mining, are approximately four to five nanometers in diameter and are shaped like little soccer balls.


Scientists in the UCLA School of Dentistry, the UCLA Department of Bioengineering and Northwestern Univ., along with collaborators at the NanoCarbon Research Institute in Japan, may have found a method to use them to enhance bone development and fight osteonecrosis, a potentially debilitating disorder in which bones break down due to decreased blood flow.

Nanodiamonds in teeth

When osteonecrosis affects the jaw, it might prevent folks from eating and talking; when it happens near joints, it can limit or preclude movement. Bone reduction also occurs next to implants like teeth or prosthetic joints, which leads to the implants rejecting or becoming loose.


Implant failures necessitate additional processes, which may be expensive and painful, and will endanger the function the patient had gained with the implant. These challenges are exacerbated when the disorder appears in the mouth, where there is a limited supply of local bone that could be used to fasten the prosthetic tooth, a key factor for motives that were both aesthetic and practical.


The study, led by Dean Ho, professor of medicine and oral biology and co- manager of the Jane and Jerry Weintraub Center for Reconstructive Biotechnology at the UCLA School of Dentistry, appears online in the peer-reviewed Journal of Dental Research.


During bone repair operations, which are normally time consuming and costly, doctors add a sponge through invasive surgery to locally administer proteins that encourage bone development, for example bone morphogenic protein.


Ho’s team found that using nanodiamonds to deliver these proteins has the capacity to be much more effective in relation to the traditional strategies. The research found that nanodiamonds, which are undetectable to the human eye, bind fast to both fibroblast and bone morphogenetic protein growth factor, demonstrating that the proteins could be simultaneously delivered using one vehicle. The unique top layer of the diamonds allows the proteins to be delivered more slowly, that might allow the affected region to be treated to get a longer duration of time. Additionally, the nanodiamonds could be distributed non-invasively, for example by an oral rinse or an injection.


“First studies indicate they are well born, which further increases their possibility in dental and bone repair applications.”


“Because they can be useful for delivering such a wide array of treatments, nanodiamonds possess the capability to affect several other facets of oral, maxillofacial and orthopedic surgery, as well as regenerative medicine.”


Ho’s team formerly showed that nanodiamonds were successful at treating multiple forms of cancer. The group decided to analyze whether nanodiamonds might help treat the bone loss also because osteonecrosis may be a complication of chemotherapy. Results in the new study could open the door with this versatile material to be used to address multiple challenges in regenerative medicine drug delivery along with other areas.


“This discovery serves as a foundation for the future of nanotechnology in dentistry, orthopedics and other domains in medicine,” said No-Hee Park, dean of the School of Dentistry. “Dr. Ho and his team have shown the tremendous possibility of the nanodiamonds toward improving patient care. He is a leader in his area.”


The study was supported by the National Cancer Institute, the National Science Foundation, the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation, The V Foundation for Cancer Research, the Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening, Beckman Coulter and the European Commission.


Michael K Braegger D.M.D.

3327 E Baseline Rd

Gilbert, AZ 85234


(480) 497-0226

Nanodiamond-Encrusted Teeth Might Be The Future