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Nanoporous Shape-Customized Glass Monoliths as Depot Systems for Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) for Drug Targeting in Dentistry

E13 TV-L; part ime position with 68 % of a full position; fixed-term contract until 30. September 2025; it is aimed to extend the contract to a duration of overall three years.

Backgound information on the project


The number of dental implants inserted in Germany has more than tripled during the last 20 years. In this context, so-called peri-implant inflammations at the interfaces between the implant and the gingiva (soft tissue surrounding the teeth) as well as at the interfaces between implant and implant bed in the alveolar bone (i.e., the cavity into which the implants are inserted) pose severe problems. These problems will get even more severe as the number of elder patients no longer able to clean their teeth by themselves will significantly grow. Therefore, it is highly desirable to reduce the prevalence of peri-implant inflammations and, consequently, the frequency of clinical treatments and aftercare appointments. Moreover, as compared to other routes of administration, targeted local drug release directly at the sites of the inflammations would reduce the required amount of administered APIs. Minimization of the amounts of administered APIs in turn minimizes adverse effects and drug contaminations in waste and waste water.

Aim of the validation project "Nanoporous Shape-Customized Glass Monoliths as Depot Systems for Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) for Drug Targeting in Dentistry" funded by the German Federal Minstry of Education and Research within the funding initiative Validierung des technologischen und gesellschaftlichen Innovationspotenzials wis­senschaftlicher Forschung – VIP+ is the development of novel dental implants for the timely end efficient therapy of peri-implant inflammations. For this purpose, shape-customized nanoporous glass monoliths loaded with APIs will be integrated into the dental implants as tailored drug depots. The shape of the glass monoliths will exactly be adapted to the implant bed. APIs preventing peri-implant inflammations will be infiltrated into the pore systems of the nanoporous glass monoliths. After the insertion of the implants the shape-customized and nanoporous glass monoliths being in thight contact with the gingiva and the implant bed should locally release the APIs over a time period sufficiently long to efficiently prevent the occurrence ot peri-implant inflammations. To reach these aims, the involved project partners, besides the University of Osnabrück the Fraunhofer Institute for Microstructure of Materials and Systems IMWS in Halle (Salle) as well as the Institute of Chemical Technology and the dental clinic of the University of will join their expertise to validate an innovative design strategy based on cutting-edge materials science. This approach combines the optimization of the nanoporous glass monoliths used as drug depots with crystallization management of the embedded APIs to tailor the release kinetics.

The release kinetics of APIs crucially depends on the crystal modification, the crystallinity and the crystal orientation of the APIs. The successful candidate will, therefore, devise strategies for the management of the crystallization of selected model APIs embedded into the nanoporous shape-customized glass monoliths and evaluate the impact of crystallization management on release kinetics. Besides sample preparation, morphological analyses by scanning electron microscopy optionally combined with focused ion beam tomography will be carried out. The crystalline state of the APIs embedded into the nanoporous glasses will be investigated by X-ray scattering and thermal analysis. Investigations of the release kinetics will be performed by means of automatized experiments as close as possible to industrial standards using specifically designed release test devices. Since the research will be conducted in close collaboration with the project partners, business trips to the project partners in Halle and Leipzig will take place on a regular basis (the costs of the business trips will be borne by the project budget). Since the research to be conducted is embedded into a validation project, close contacts to enterprises in the relevant field, such as glass manufacturers or dental implant manufacturers, will be set up towards the end of the project.

The work tasks associated with the offered position will first and foremost be defined by the working plan of the project. However, the results thus obtained can be used to devise a PhD thesis. A possible thesis title could be: "Controlling drug release from nanoporous hosts by crystallization management”.

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