Weibo Zhang

WEIBO ZHANG

“Bioengineered Alveolar Bone and Tooth Constructs”

Biography

Dr. Weibo Zhang, D.D.S., Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Orthodontics at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine (TUSDM), Boston MA. She earned her D.D.S degree and later a M.D.S. (Medical doctor of Stomatology) degree from the School of Stomatology, Wuhan University, China. She then earned her Ph.D. degree from Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre in the Netherlands.  Dr. Zhang joined the laboratory of Dr. Pamela C. Yelick as a Postdoctoral Fellow in 2007, was then promoted to Research Associate, and was promoted to Assistant Professor later after.  Dr. Zhang’s research focuses on characterizing the use of dental stem cells in craniofacial bone and tooth regeneration, using both in vitro and in vivo animal models including mice, rat, rabbit and minipig.

Abstract

Weibo Zhang1, Wei Chang2, Shruti Saxena2, Amir Fakhrzadeh2, Tommy Pashuck2, Simon Young3, Joachim Kohn2 and Pamela Yelick1

 

1Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, Boston, MA USA

2New Jersey Center for Biomaterials, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ USA

3Texas Health Science Center, Houston TX

 

Our long-term goal is to develop therapies to regenerate functional alveolar jawbone, together with teeth, to repair craniomaxillofacial defects in humans.  The coordinated repair of alveolar jawbone and teeth is anticipated to reduce surgical costs, and improve patient recovery times.  Since craniofacial injuries account for 80% of all battlefield injuries, these studies address an important medical need for military personnel, and for civilians with craniofacial defects caused by birth defects, trauma and surgical resection.  The purpose of this study is to test the utility of well-characterized tyrosine-derived polycarbonate scaffolds, referred to as E1001(1K),  containing beta-tri-calcium phosphate (b-TCP), designed and validated by the Kohn’s Lab, Rutgers University, for alveolar bone regeneration, using human dental pulp cells (hDPCs).  To date, we have tested these constructs in in vivo rat and rabbit mandible defect repair models, and have demonstrated the formation of osteodentin-like mineralized jawbone tissue. Our results demonstrate the potential use hDPC seeded E1001(1K) scaffolds for alveolar bone regeneration, and in the future, for coordinated alveolar bone and tooth regeneration.