USC researcher earns research award to develop peri-implantitis treatment

Alireza Moshaverinia, DDS, PhD, a research professor at the Ostrow School of Dentistry at the University of Southern California (USC) has earned a research award to develop a new treatment for patients who develop peri-implantitis.

The 2015 International Association for Dental Research Innovation in Oral Care Award, which can be worth up to $75,000 and lasts one year, was given to three recipients worldwide. Co-sponsored by the International Association for Dental Research and GlaxoSmithKline, the award is intended to help investigators pursue innovative research in oral care.

The money will help Dr. Moshaverinia develop a nonsurgical treatment for peri-implantitis -- one of the most common inflammatory complications following dental implant. Co-investigators include Homa Zadeh, DDS, PhD, an associate professor at Ostrow, and Ali Khademhosseini, MASc, PhD, a professor at the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology.

Peri-implantitis can cause irreversible loss of bone and soft tissue around the implant. Current treatment options are limited to bone grafting and tissue augmentation, both of which have major disadvantages, including potential infection, prolonged bleeding, nerve damage, and jaw fracture.

Using an injectable adhesive hydrogel -- with both anti-inflammatory/antimicrobial properties and gingival mesenchymal stem cells -- the proposed treatment would not only be effective against inflammation, it would also promote bone and tissue growth, without the need for surgery.

The long-term goal of this proposal is to introduce a promising approach for the improved treatment of peri-implant bone loss.

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