Thiago Soares Porto's research on bioactive glasses with niobum nanoparticles is intended to develop a novel adhesive system capable of enhancing the quality and longevity of dental restorations.
Tuesday, March 5, 2024

For dental restorations, the quality of the material used and the strength of the adhesive make all the difference. 

Thaigo Porto

Thiago Soares Porto, assistant professor of operative dentistry, is an expert in bioactive glasses. These materials are biocompatible with existing dental tissue, and they can, in theory, gradually release ions over time to facilitate the growth of calcium phosphate in dental tissues. 

This research project is an essential first step in developing this novel adhesive material composed of bioactive glass and nanoparticles of niobium, a metal oxide. Combining the bioactive glass and niobium nanoparticles will improve the chemical stability and mechanical properties of the resulting adhesive. In this first step of the overall research program, Porto will characterize the chemical and mechanical properties of the resulting material, thereby laying the groundwork for a follow-up project to begin the process of developing it as a drug-delivery system.

Porto's hypothesis is that the niobium ions will gradually replace phosphorus ions in the bioactive phosphate glass, which will result in sustained release of those phosphorus ions without limiting the function of these materials. The sustained release of these ions can limit the amount of degradation that tends to occur over time, which will in turn improve the longevity of dental restorations. 

The study is supported by the University of Iowa College of Dentistry’s Clinical/Dental Education Research Initiative Support Program (CRISP). This program is intended to provide support for faculty who have a specific clinical (or dental education) research question.