Scaffold Technology Improves Craniofacial Bone Regeneration

Dentistry Today


The Stony Brook School of Dental Medicine has received a $1.7 million Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Fast-Track Grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research to study the viability of NuShores’ NuCress bone scaffolds in craniofacial tissues. 

Using existing technology, the NuCress scaffold is a nanomaterial-based bone regeneration device with tunable porosity, or the ability to be adapted to match the pore size of the existing bone. The researchers believe it has the potential to provide bone regeneration solutions for patients suffering from issues ranging from tooth loss to the effects of cancer, congenital defects, infections, and craniofacial trauma.

“This NIH award recognizes the profound early results of NuCress scaffold technology in long bones, and we aim to validate it as a revolutionary advancement in craniofacial bone healing and transformational technology for surgeons challenged with not only restoring form but also function in patients with craniofacial defects,” said David Lam, MD, DDS, PhD, professor of surgery and oral and maxillofacial surgery and chair of the department of oral and maxillofacial surgery.

Clinicians currently face “issues with fixation and stabilization, insufficient bone regeneration, complications with bone harvesting, prolonged healing of up to nine months, and high costs” when treating patients, said Srinivas Myneni, BDS, MS, PhD, assistant professor and director of periodontal research, Department of Periodontology.

If successful, the researchers report, the technology would alleviate these challenges by mirroring the mechanical, physical, and biological properties of the craniofacial bones and surrounding microenvironments. The grant also allows for an exciting expansion of the school’s research portfolio, the researchers note.

“The collaboration between Dr. Lam, Dr. Myneni, and NuShores Biosciences launches the School of Dental Medicine into novel and vital surgical tissue engineering that has the potential to transform approaches in patient regenerative medicine,” said Dr. Mary Truhlar, dean of the school.

“The crucial results of our preclinical studies in this Fast-Track Grant will inform future clinical trials in patients not only at Stony Brook Medicine, but around the country,” said Lam.

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