Biomineralisation

Dentistry biomaterialisation image

PGR - DCP

The Biomineralisation research group encompasses skeletal tissue biology, from formation to destruction and genotype to phenotype, at all stages of the translational pipeline. This includes: 

  • the investigation of molecular mechanisms
  • controlling mammalian biomineralisation events
  • arising from gene mutation in inherited dental and skeletal pathologies of disease pathogenesis
  • permitting development of biomimetic therapeutics for skeletal tissue repair and regeneration
  • utilising ultra-high resolution imaging of cells and biomolecules
  • stem cell enrichment and characterisation.

Projects

Filling without Drilling 

Untreated tooth decay is the most common disease world-wide.  Following the successful spin out  of Leeds’ “Filling without Drilling” patent-protected self-assembling peptide (SAP) technology for treatment of early tooth decay (caries) pre-2014, three new SAP products are now available for treating tooth sensitivity and caries prevention. Two further products will be launched this year. The company formed to market Leeds’ technology has won 2 major awards, grown in size and turnover and are introducing a new product line treating periodontal disease (gum disease); the sixth most common of all diseases, in the near future.

Advancing the Genetics of Enamel Developmental Abnormalities (AGEnDA)

Enamel is the hardest substance in the human body and is designed to last a lifetime even though it has no capacity for cellular repair.  Through the investigation of families with Amelogenesis Imperfecta (AI) – a heterogeneous group of inherited enamel defects – the Leeds team has established a world-leading reputation for discovery of genetic variants that are critical to normal enamel formation.

The translation of genetic research discoveries to NHS patient care has started through successful application to the UK Genetic Testing Network (dossier #331 Amelogenesis Imperfecta 21 Gene Panel). This is a first for clinical dentistry and paves the way for defining patient pathways and raising standards of care. 

Partnerships and collaborations

We have developed effective research collaborations and knowledge sharing partnerships within a number of related organisations and bodies, both within the Faculty of Medicine and externally. Members of the Biomineralisation research group collaborate with The WELMEC Centre of Excellence in Medical Engineering and The Leeds NIHR Musculoskeletal Biomedical Research Unit.

Members

Biomineralisation research group membership includes:

Research Lead: Professor Jennifer Kirkham

Dr Steven Brookes

Dr Robert Davies

Dr Alan Mighell

Dr Neil Thomson

Miss Laura Whitehouse