Dental Tribune USA

A revolution in biological adhesives

By Javier Martinez de Pison, DT Latin America
April 16, 2009

Memphis, TN, USA: Dr Franklin Garcia-Godoy, one of the main investigators in the United States and up to now assistant dean for research in restorative dentistry and pediatric dentistry at Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, USA, has been named senior executive dean for dental research at the University of Tennessee in Memphis.

Dr Garcia-Godoy, who is the editor of the American Journal of Dentistry and an advisor to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Diseases (NIDCR), said the new position is a big challenge. He expects to do research on many issues, among them biological materials, and ethnic and racial disparities in dental care in the United States.

Dr Garcia-Godoy gave a presentation at the IADR 87th Session in Miami, FL, USA, on “Current Aspects on Adhesion,” which he said “is not necessarily related to the bonding, but where do I think we should go, which is towards more biological adhesives.”

“I think adhesives should be more biological-accepted,” said Dr Garcia-Godoy. “Right now, they are more of a mechanical issue. What I’m trying to do is a more biological adhesive, take advantage of the tissue itself to increase the bonding structure”.

Spiders as models

“We copied adhesives in dentistry from carpentry,” the researcher said, “but we are dealing with biological tissue. We should copy from animals such as spiders that develop natural adhesives.”
Born in Dominican Republic and educated in his native country and in the United States, the researcher said his team has been studying the common spider and have been able to develop a similar adhesive to the one it uses to build spider-webs.

“We have been studying also the crabs, which develop a hard compound for their shells,” he said. “We can develop it from there, which is a protein that if it fractures it can regenerate itself. That’s the direction I’m trying to go.”

Dr Garcia-Godoy said that he couldn’t mention many details about his research as of yet since many of them are still pending patents.
“We are also dealing with calcium phosphates and remineralization of teeth, and also on varnishes and how does the materials work for the color,” he concluded.



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