OU receives $33.6M grant to develop new imaging platform

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Researchers at the University of Oklahoma (OU) have received a $33.6 million federal grant to develop a new imaging platform that could advance discoveries in medicine and dentistry.

The instrument will integrate several traditional and novel techniques that reveal how complex mechanics impact the fate and longevity of different types of biomaterials, according to Dr. Fernando Florez, PhD, of OU's College of Dentistry, who will lead the project’s medical and dental applications team.

Current dental biomaterials do not remain antibacterial for extended periods of time, meaning that most materials can only be used for as little as a few weeks up to a few months, Florez explained, in a news release from the university. Florez and collaborators at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, TN, have developed a longer-lasting antimicrobial nanofilled dental adhesive resin, with the new imaging platform that is expected to help visualize the dynamics of the resin in future studies.

"This will positively influence the development of novel biomaterials with long-term antibacterial and biomimetic properties," Florez said.

The project is known as CUPI2D, short for complex, unique, and powerful imaging instrument for dynamics. The funding is through the U.S. Department of Energy and will support the instrument’s construction at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

So far, the collaborative effort has generated three international patents and led to articles that have been published in six peer-reviewed academic journals, including Scientific Reports and Nature, the university noted.

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