NIH Awards $1.9 Million Grant to UofM Biomedical Engineering Professor

Funds will support project to regenerate bone lost to periodontal disease or injury

May 3, 2018 - The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded University of Memphis Biomedical Engineering professor Dr. Joel D. Bumgardner a $1.9 million grant to aid in regenerating bone lost to periodontal disease or injury.

"This award is important in our efforts to significantly advance and improve bone healing and regeneration over current therapies," said Bumgardner. "The grant will provide us the resources to understand the mechanisms of how the technology will work, and to continue to build our team for developing the technology and exploring additional avenues of research such as orthopedics, where treating large traumatic injuries is still a challenge."

Patients with craniofacial injuries or periodontal disease leading to tooth loss often also experience bone loss resulting in the diminished ability to chew, altered speech and aesthetics that affect health and the ability to function in society. These patients can benefit from dental implant procedures, but need restoration of lost or missing bone for the implant procedures to be successful. More than 2 million individuals in the U.S. require dental bone grafting annually.

"Our goal is to create bioactive guided bone regeneration membranes that reduce inflammation and promote healing and regeneration of bone-grafted dental and craniomaxillofacial defects," said Bumgardner. "While our research is just beginning, we also are looking at potential patenting and licensing opportunities with a couple of dental device companies. We are also beginning to look at strategies for scaling up manufacture of the membranes from the lab and for going through the U.S. FDA regulatory process."

The NIH grant was awarded over five years.


Chuck Gallina | 901.678.1756 l cgallina@memphis.edu