The field of biomineralization focuses on the mechanisms by which cells and biomacromolecules exert spatial and temporal control over the mineralization processes and regulate the mineral phase, shape and organization in mineralized tissues, offering important insights into craniofacial structures and their development. The craniofacial complex contains a number of mineralized tissues which are unique to this region. For example, dental mineralized tissues, namely, enamel, dentin and cementum, are only found in the craniofacial region. Also, most of the bones formed through the intramembranous ossification process, are found in the craniofacial region. Unveiling these mechanisms is key for understanding mineralized tissue formation in norm and disease. Biomineralziation also provides inspiration for development of novel materials with functional and structural properties similar to the mineralized tissues.
CCR faculty researching biomineralization include the following individuals:
Dr. Elia Beniash Biomineralization processes in dental tissues and other biominerals; protein self-assembly and protein-mineral interactions, protein and mineral transport in the mineralizing cells; biologically inspired materials
Dr. Dobrawa Napierala Transcriptional regulation of the mineralization process, development and pathology of mineralizing tissues, matrix vesicles, phosphate signaling, endochondral ossification
Dr. Charles Sfeir The role of protein phosphorylation in biomineralization; biologically inspired materials
Dr. Konstantinos Verdelis Role of the SIBLING proteins in biomineralization of dental tissues; physical methods of the mineralized tissue characterization
Dr. Heather Szabo-Rogers Cell polarity and the secretion of mineralized matrix