Resin composite is currently the most widely used material in dentistry, enabling minimally invasive and invisible tooth restoration. However, there is a particular safety concern regarding the release of the endocrine disruptor ‘bisphenol A’ (BPA). BPA can be present in composites as production contaminant and/or degradation product, originating from BPA-based monomers such as BisGMA. The latter serves as a polymerization ‘cross-linker’ and is a main monomer matrix ingredient of today’s commercial dental composites. Thanks to a recently patented KU Leuven research&development breakthrough, BPA-free bi-aromatic diols have been synthesized from wood and appear very promising to replace BisGMA with even the potential to further improve the physico-mechanical properties of composite. Besides improved biocompatibility, there exists a definite need to upgrade dental composite with therapeutic function. Resin composite with antibacterial and/or remineralization potential to prevent secondary caries and eventually to extend the longevity of composite restorations is highly desirable. A self-developed method using Na-montmorillonite clay as a carrier for gradual antibacterial agent delivery as well as dual-functional bioactive glass filler possessing both antibacterial properties and remineralization capability are innovative technologies that will be employed to develop a new generation of BIOSAFE and BIOACTIVE dental composites.
The candidate should be a holder of a university degree (such as or equivalent to Master in ‘Biomedical Sciences’, ‘Dentistry’, ‘Medicine’, ‘Biology’, ‘Bio-science Engineering’, ‘Materials engineering’, ‘Chemistry’, etc.) and should have a particular interest in biomaterials research (physico-mechanical biomaterial properties, chemical analysis, bioactive properties, etc.). The candidate must be able to work in team, as he/she will work in close collaboration with another PhD student, who will focus on biocompatibility testing. The candidate is expected to conduct the project towards a PhD degree, which includes a 4-year program, and therefore needs to enroll in the KU Leuven PhD program of the Biomedical Sciences Doctoral School.
– Supervision by recognized experts and access to state-of-the-art research infrastructure.
– Highly innovative research project aiming to improve dental composite technology.
– Training in complementary skills via participation at local and network-based events.
– Salaried position according to the KU Leuven salary rates for PhD students.
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