Institute of Dentistry

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Caries, Hard Tissues and Materials Research

Crystallite Orientation in Enamel - Dr Maisoon Al-Jawad
Crystallite Orientation in Enamel - Dr Maisoon Al-Jawad

The mission of the Caries, Hard Tissues and Material Research Theme is to undertake Fundamental and Applied Research in Biophysics and Biomaterials Relevant to Clinical Dentistry. The combination of personnel and resources means that this research grouping has skills and facilities found nowhere else in the World.

The Caries, Hard Tissues and Materials Research Theme are pioneers in the development and application of X-ray microtomography and diffraction, microradiography and solid state NMR spectroscopy to teeth. The research in this multidisciplinary group falls into two main themes: the structure of teeth and dental material science and builds on existing expertise in the area of apatite and dental biomaterials. The group's aim is to undertake fundamental and applied research in biophysics and biomaterials relevant to clinical dentistry through the development and application of novel physical methods to study oral hard tissue and polymeric restorative materials. The group has a strong focus on caries, demineralization and remineralisation as applied to oral healthcare products.

The Caries, Hard Tissues and Materials Research Theme contains the unit of  Dental Physical Sciences which was formed in 2009 from the merger of the Dental Biomaterials group led by Mike Braden and Biophysics in relation to dentistry group led by Jim Elliott.

Postgraduate Opportunities

Taught postgraduate courses and  PhD Opportunities  associated with research in Caries, Hard Tissues and Material are available.

Research Programmes

Mapping the Spatial and Temporal Progression of Enamel Biomineralisation using Synchrotron X-ray Diffraction

Crystallographic and Microstructural studies of Teeth Affected by Genetic Abnormalities

Glass-ceramics for biomedical applications


Bioactive Glasses.

Apatite Based Oral Care Products

Glass Ionomers Cements and ART

Applications of XMT in Dentistry

Αποκαλύπτω – Apocalypto: Revealing the unreadable

REF Highlights

Professor Robert Hill has filed several key patents on fluoride containing bioactive glasses as well as papers. These glasses can be added as remineralizing additives to toothpastes. They give controlled release of fluoride in the mouth. In 2013 Robert Hill and colleagues won the Amourers and Brasiers Venture Award and Robert Hill also got the Alan Wilson Memorial Prize.

Dr Nataliia Karpukhina is a solid state NMR spectroscopist who is an expert on halogen containing glasses. She has been using solid state 19F MAS-NMR to follow remineralization processes.

Dr Maisoon Al-Jawad is an early career researcher who is using synchrotron XRD to look at enamel mineralization caries and genetic diseases associated with defective mineralization processes.

Dr Graham Davis develops and builds machines for X-ray Microtomography and uses them to image materials in 3D at high resolution. He has used the technique to study remineralization of Carious lesions beneath Glass Ionomer Cement ART restorations.

Dr Paul Anderson is a specialist in Caries and Scanning Microradiography which he uses to follow the formation of caries like processes in teeth and his recent research has focused on the role of metal ions on enamel loss.

Professor Ferranti Wong is a clinician with a strong interest and publication track record in nano composites

Professor Alan Boyde  is an expert on dental hard tissues and bone with over 400 publications and  papers  during the REF period in Science,

Dr Mike Cattell interests include dental ceramics  and especially Leucite based porcelains. His research led to the commercial production of “Lumineeers” which forms the basis of one of the REF Impact Case studies.

Dr Mangala Patel is a polymer scientist whose recent publications include polymeric drug delivery systems for ionophoresis through the mucosa.

Dr Simon Rawlinson is a bone biologist whose main interests include the response of bone to stress and bone lineage and development.

Dr Padhraig Flemming is an orthodontist interested in the clinical effectiveness of orthodiontic procedures.

Dr David Gillam is a Periodontologist and expert on Dentine Hypersensitivity.
He has developed with Robert Hill and Periproducts Ltd a nano HA toothpaste and Oral Rinse for the treatment of Dentine Hypersensitivity. Both the toothpaste and oral rinse are patented and the UK patent has been granted and the products are available in the UK.

Other Information

International Collaborators/Linkages

  • Advisory Board for Biomimetic Dentistry
  • Professor Shikegi Matsuya Kyushu (Japan)
  • Professor Brian Clarkson University of Michigan (USA)
  • Professor Kiprianov St Petersburg (Russia)
  • Nathan Cochrane University of Melbourne (Australia)
  • Toshi Kasuga University of Nagoya (Japan)
  • International Congress of Glass Technical Comittees 3 ,4 and 7
  • Professor  Delia Brauer University of Jena (Germany)

Departmental Facilities

  • Facilities for glass synthesis for dental porcelains bioactive glassses and ionomer glasses
  • Laser particle size
  • Differential Scanning Calorimetry
  • FTIR/Raman Spectroscopy
  • NMR Spectroscopy
  • X-ray Microradiography
  • X-ray Microtomography
  • Mechanical Testing


Professor Robert Hill
Professor of Physical Sciences in relation to Dentistry
+44 20 7882 5974 (Phone)
+44 20 7882 7979 (Fax)

Dental Physical Sciences Unit
2nd Fl. Francis Bancroft Building
Queen Mary, University of London
Mile End Road
E1 4NS


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