Bulletin Issue AUGUST 2020


Academic Staff Received General Research Fund

The Research Grants Council (RGC) has announced the results for the General Research Fund (GRF) exercises for 2020/2021. In the latest competition, the Faculty performed well with eight academic staff received the GRF. The lists of successful GRF as followings:

Staff: Professor M.F. Burrow, Clinical Professor in Prosthodontics

Project title: Using novel monomers to create a BPA free universal resin filling material

About the project: The most common matrix monomer used for dental composites is Bis-GMA which contains impurities of the oestrogen analogue, BPA. The study aims to create BPA-free resin composite materials that can be used commercially that can be applied widely in restorative dentistry worldwide. The project will use new dimethacrylate monomers containing flourine.

Staff: Professor C.H. Chu, Clinical Professor in Cariology

Project title: Preventing dental erosion with silver diamine fluoride

About the project: To identify Silver diamine fluoride (SDF)’s potential preventive properties against dental erosion by studying whether SDF can enhance preventive effect of salivary pellicle against dental erosion and to learn if SDF can protect enamel and dentin from dental erosion. Since usage of SDF is painless, simple and affordable, it can be widely recommended for managing dental erosion which can help to establish a clinical protocol using SDF for the management of dental erosion.

Staff: Professor C.K.Y. Yiu, Clinical Professor in Paediatric Dentistry

Project title: Novel synbiotic-fluoride synergism for restoring oral ecological homeostasis

About the project: Dental caries is a major public health concern, imposing a costly burden on health services. The study aims to boost the mechanism of action of fluoride with synbiotics and develop an enduring ecological-based caries preventive strategy, which will provide a twofold synergistic anti-caries effect, firstly targeting biofilm control by synbiotics and secondly enamel remineralization by fluoride. The primary outcome of this research project is to optimize synbiotic-fluoride synergism for future clinical trials and applications.

Staff: Professor C. Zhang, Clinical Professor in Endodontics

Project title: Novel angiogenic and electrically conductive niche synergizing with electrical stimulation accelerates angiogenesis and neurogenesis in pulp regeneration

About the Project: Angiogenesis and neurogenesis occur at the early stage of pulp tissue regeneration leading to appropriate vasculature and innervation in the mature tissue. Therefore, to obtain fully functional dental pulp, proper vascular and neural regeneration is essential. However, anatomical confinement of root canal system restricts rapid functional blood vessel formation within the transplanted engineered pulp. This study will fabricate a novel hydrogel scaffold with an angiogenic niche and electrical conductivity to accelerate angiogenesis and neurogenesis for pulp regeneration.

Staff: Professor M.C.M Wong, Professor in Dental Public Health

Project title: Impact of a kindergarten outreach dental service project on caries experience, treatment need and quality of life of school children

About the project: First study to perform an impact and economic evaluation of a kindergarten outreach dental service project in Hong Kong. A retrospective study on children (and their parents) who had participated in the outreach kindergarten dental service and now studying in primary schools and have joined the School Dental Care Service (SDCS) provided by the Government Department of Health will be conducted. The comparison group is primary school children who have joined the SDCS but were not participants of the kindergarten dental service.

Staff: Dr M.Y.Y. Leung, Clinical Associate Professor in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

Project Title: Coronectomy versus total removal of lower third molars in the periodontal attachment and bone regeneration of adjacent second molars: A randomized clinical trial

About the project: A split-mouth randomized clinical trial is designed to compare the periodontal attachment and bone regeneration of the adjacent second molar after coronectomy versus total removal of lower third molars within the first post-operative year. The results will provide an important evidence of which technique, coronectomy or total removal of lower third molar, is better in the periodontal and bone regeneration of the adjacent second molar.

Staff: Dr G.H.M. Wong, Clinical Associate Professor in Paediatric Dentistry

Project title: High-throughput global-to-local geometric morphometric phenotyping for deciphering genetic influences on facial morphology

About the project: The study aims to establish a facial morphology reference dataset by identifying genetic loci that influence normal facial morphological variations with an effective method. The findings may provide insights into the relative importance of various factors in human facial development. The dataset can also be input into artificial intelligence algorithms for the development of rapid diagnostic tests.

Staff: Dr RM Watt, Associate Professor in Oral Biosciences

Project title: Putting the POP into periodontitis

About the project: The leading cause of tooth loss in adults is periodontitis which is an infectious-inflammatory disease that affects more than 1 billion people worldwide. Periodontitis results from a chronic build-up of bacterial communities in the shallow gum crevice around the base of the tooth. This project aims at identifying fundamentally important biological mechanisms employed by bacteria that promote periodontal disease: especially those catalyzed by POP family 'peptide-chopping' enzymes; with the future goal of inhibiting these specific processes promote the restoration of oral health.

Staff: Dr J.K.H. Tsoi, Assistant Professor in Dental Materials Science

Project title: An Artificial Intelligence (AI) approach to automate the design and production processes of dental crown

About the project: Dentists and dental technicians still spend a lot of time on the design and polish of crown even with the aid of technology. Hence, a novel dental Computer-Aided Design (CAD)/ Computer-Aided Machining (CAM) automation solution by using Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology is proposed. This project targets to develop an automated CAD process by utilizing previous research data via an AI algorithm, and to develop CAM tools with nano-diamond coating that can produce a crown without any extra grinding/polishing, i.e. milling and polishing are done together.

© 2020 Faculty of Dentistry, The University of Hong Kong