The Department of Biomaterials and Regenerative Dental Medicine conducts research on: (i) regenerative dental medicine via stem cells, scaffolds, nanotechnology and bioactive agents, and (ii) bioactive, therapeutic dental restorative and preventive materials for tooth restorationsOur efforts focus on the development of novel nanostructured bioactive tissue engineering scaffolds and the enhancement of bone and vascular regeneration using craniofacial and mandibular animal modelsOur multidisciplinary team uses state-of-the-art synthesis facilities and innovative engineering methods to investigate stem cells and cell-scaffold interactions, to quantify tissue regeneration in animal defects, and to develop new materials and methods to improve dental tissue regeneration efficacyIn addition, we focus on the development of new dental materials including nanocomposites, nanostructured adhesives, cements, sealants and coatings. They possess bioactive and therapeutic properties, with protein-repellent, acid-neutralizing, remineralizing and antibacterial capabilitiesWe investigate physical and biological properties, biomaterial-biofilm interactions, biofilm acid production, tooth lesion remineralization, and caries inhibitionOur research has produced over 400 peer-reviewed full-length articles in leading journals. 

Research Grants

R21 DE029611, 9/8/2020 - 8/31/2024.
PIs: Abraham Schneider, Huakun Xu.
Co-Investigators: Michael D. Weir, Tao Ma.
Title: “A novel metformin-nanomineral scaffold as enhancer of craniofacial bone regeneration and angiogenesis via dental pulp stem cells”.

R21 DE032139-01, 7/01/2022 - 8/31/2024.
PIs: Abraham Schneider, Huakun Xu.
Co-Investigators: Michael D. Weir, Tao Ma.
Title: “Targeting the AMPK pathway to enhance dentin repair with novel metformin-releasing dental cements”.

R01 DE033442-01A1, 10/01/2024 – 09/30/2029.
PIs: Jirun Sun, Huakun Xu.
Co-Investigators: Michael D. Weir, Thomas W. Oates, Dwayne D. Arola, Jack Ferracane.
Title: “Hydrolysis-resistant resin networks for durable and multifunctional dental restorations”.

R01 DE032692-01A1, 10/01/2024 – 09/30/2029.
PIs: Abraham Schneider, Huakun Xu.
Co-Investigators: Michael D. Weir, Tao Ma, Mark A. Reynolds, Silvia V. Montaner, Yan Shu, Carl G. Simon.
Title: “
Novel tunable metformin-releasing injectable scaffolds to enhance dental pulp stem cell-based craniofacial bone regeneration”.

Maryland Stem Cell Fund 2024-MSCRFL-6336, 10/1/2024-9/30/2026
PIs: Man-Kyo Chung, Huakun Xu, Gabsang Lee.
Co-Investigators: Michael D. Weir, Xuguang Nie.
Title: “Development of hiPSC-derived odontoblast scaffold for future cell therapy in dentin regeneration”

Industrial grant on bioactive nanostructured cements for dental plaque reduction.
PIs: Huakun Xu, Michael D. Weir, Gary D. Hack.