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Photopolymerization for Biomaterials


Our goal is to enable the development and manufacturing of biomaterials for oral health moving forward in 21st century by providing critical measurement methods and reference materials. Our multidisciplinary team combines expertise in experimental, theoretical and simulation approaches.


Credit: NIST

This project responds to priorities of National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR/NIH) for oral health by establishing clinical guidance/standards for adequate photocuring of restorative dental composites. Also, this project is intended to advance the knowledge relevant to thermal and photo transmittance to oral tissues during the photopolymerization process of dental restorations. This will serve as the scientific foundation for future evaluation of patient safety concerns incurred in clinical practice of dental restorations. Much of this research has been funded by NIDCR/NIH. NIST and NIDCR have had an interagency agreement (IAA) since the 1960s to advance materials and measurement methods for improving oral health. The unique metrology infrastructure built at NIST under previous IAAs with NIDCR (i.e., NIST Standard Reference Instrument (SRI) 6005 – Polymerization Stress Tensometer) has been used to accomplish the goal of this project. This instrument enables accurate quantification of the kinetics of rapid polymerization to unravel the complex interrelationships among the photocuring protocols and polymerization properties, such that a better understanding and control of the photocuring process can be achieved.

Today, NIST continues its close working relationships with NIDCR, while also establishing closer ties with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The NIST dental research team is also actively involved in the consensus standards bodies (e.g., American Dental Association/ Standards Committee for Dental Products, ISO Technical Committee 106 -- Dentistry), while working closely with dental industry and academic research laboratories.

Created March 4, 2020