A researcher specializing in clinical biomaterials at the Rutgers School of Dental Medicine (RSDM) has received a pair of grants totaling $200,000 to develop a new form of endodontic sealer and cover the costs of new lab equipment.
Dr. Mohammad Ali Saghiri, director of RSDM’s Biomaterials Lab, received $100,000 from Rutgers TechAdvance to create an innovative sealer that can expand during treatment to fill small gaps in the root canal space that often are unreachable by conventional materials.
“It’s a game changer,” said Saghiri, an assistant professor in the Department of Restorative Dentistry. “This will improve endodontic treatment outcomes. It could lead to faster, more affordable, and far less invasive alternatives to regular sealers.”
Saghiri has filed a patent through the Rutgers University Office of Research and Economic Development and will continue in-vitro and in-vivo studies designed to make the sealer ready for approval by the US Food and Drug Administration and commercialization.
Also, Saghiri has received $100,000 from the Rutgers Strategic Alliances and University Core Facilities to purchase a powerful microscope to examine surfaces and observe their molecular structure at the nanometer scale.
The grant will fund a scanning electron microscope that will replace much older equipment at RSDM and will be used by researchers and faculty across departments.
“This tool provides a plethora of information about the sample, including its physical and chemical structures and composition,” Saghiri said.
Saghiri, who describes the field of biomaterials as “the interface of engineering, art, and dentistry,” said the new equipment could lead to great discoveries and breakthroughs.
“It’s the same as creating art,” he said. “If you don’t have great materials and equipment, it’s impossible to create art.”