Institute of Dentistry

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Dr Mangala Patel, PhD, MSc, BSc (Hons)


Reader in Biomaterials in Relation to Dentistry / Senior Tutor (Dentistry)

Telephone: (44) 020 7882 5982
Room Number: Dental Physical Science, Francis Bancroft Building


Dr Patel graduated in Chemistry (1980, London).  She then worked as a research assistant, in Biomaterials in Relation to Dentistry, at the former London Hospital Medical College (1981). During this period she obtained an MSc (Synthetic Organic Chemistry, 1983) followed by a PhD (University of London, 1987), on heterocyclic methacrylates for dental and clinical applications. Within the same department she has progressed from being a Post Doc, to a Lecturer, followed by a Senior Lecturer; recently she has been promoted to a Reader in Biomaterials in Relation to Dentistry.

Dr Patel's initial research on the development of biocompatible, low shrinkage methacrylate based systems, involved detailed studies of physico-mechanical properties. Her subsequent research centres on the development of novel polymeric systems (dental and orthopaedic related/biomaterials) for the delivery of therapeutic (active) species, locally within the oral cavity and in the body, and the analysis of water absorption and diffusion processes associated with drug release. The latter two are central to the clinical performance of the systems. Her research has resulted in four patents, two novel materials, which were granted Clinical Trials Exemption Certificates and a number of successful grants, currently an EPSRC and a Knowledge Transfer Partnership.

Dr Patel has extensive experience in teaching Dental Materials Science and Biomaterials to both undergraduate and postgraduate dental/other students, and she also supervises (supervised) a number of PhD, MSc/MClinDent and BEng/BSc projects. She is also a Prosthodontic Module Co-Convenor for the BDS course and Senior Tutor for Dentistry.


Research Interests:

Dr Patel's research centres on the development of novel polymeric dental and related biomaterials, for the delivery of therapeutic (active) species, locally within the oral cavity and in the body, aimed at treating a range of pathological conditions, and based on the fundamental principles of polymer science. Four patents have been filed and two materials have been granted Medicines Control Agency approval for clinical trials.  Developing her understanding on the detailed kinetics of water sorption and release of active agents,  experimental and mathematical modelling, with specific reference to delivering proteins across the oral mucosa and dermal sites, has benefited from interdisciplinary,  international/national and industrial collaborations.

Examples of Dr Patel's research are: tissue repair material for growth of bone and cartilage, an intra-oral drug delivery system for the treatment of acute candidal infections, fluoride releasing systems, a monomer system for use in composite filling materials and a novel resin-modified glass ionomer cement.  An exciting innovative area includes iontophoretic drug delivery via the buccal mucosa.

Dr Patel is currently Principal Investigator on an EPSRC grant for producing a self-disinfecting (anti-viral) alginate dental impression material. On a Knowledge Transfer Partnership, developing a resin modified glass ionomer cement is in progress. As a Consultancy Team Specialist, she advises companies/industries with the development/testing of their materials.

Dr Patel uses her research to develop components of the undergraduate and postgraduate courses; a major part of her teaching is based on her own research findings and scientific principles, addressed to specific clinical problems.

Selected Publications:

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