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Grant goes to professors researching bone growth (6/12/97)

A material commonly used to coat orthopedic and dental implants is being studied by researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio to determine how to promote optimum bone growth at the implant site.

Joo L. Ong, PhD, from the department of restorative dentistry at the Health Science Center has been awarded a $210,000 grant from the Whitaker Foundation for this research.

Dr. Ong, working with Barry K. Norling, PhD, also from restorative dentistry, and David L. Carnes, Jr., PhD, from the deparatment of endodontics, is researching the properties of a material called hydroxyapatite to determine its effect on bone growth in dental implants. Hydroxyapatite contains calcium, phosphorus, and oxygen, which is also found in bones and teeth. When the crystallinity in hydroxyapatite changes, the bone's response to the implant also changes.

Using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, an important surface analytical tool in the field of biomaterials, Dr. Ong and his colleagues will determine the implant's surface chemistry and the amount of crystalline hydroxyapatite needed for maximum bone growth.

Contact: Jan Elkins (210) 567-2570