Thomas Davidson

Biomedical Engineering, Ph.D. Candidate

Traditionally, biomaterials such as hip implants, dental composites, or knee replacements are chosen due to the fact they are biologically inert.  This means that the bond between material and tissue is completely mechanical.  To create an additional bond, we have proposed the use of a phage display derived peptide (VTK) that had been previously discovered in our lab for its affinity to apatite based materials. We are currently applying this approach to dental composites where the peptide should act as a molecular tether between an apatite surface of dentin or enamel and the methacrylate polymer present in the dental composite complex. In addition to acting as a tether for the composite, VTK can tether other functional peptide domains to the surface to perform a specific biological role. Our hope is that incorporation of these peptides at the material-tissue interface will extend the longevity biomaterials and prevent further intervention.