Biomechanical and Cellular Aspects of Tooth Development in the Maxilla


Several theories hae been proposed for tooth eruption, most of which rely on a presuppostiion of there being a true eruptive force. Earlier work demonstrated by finite element analysis o the mandible, that tooth eruption could be accounted for by bone remodelling in response to functional foces detected y dental follicle. In addition, molecular analysis of human and animal dental follicel cells subjected to mechanical stress demonstrated a range of cellular responses consistent with the predicted role of the dental follicle. The students project will expand this earlier study, by firstly establishing a finite element analysis model of the maxilla homologoous to that of the mandbile earlier studied, and then expanding studies into an animal and cell culture model.


Dr Babak Sarrafpour, Professor Hans Zoellner

Research Location

Sydney Dental School

Program Type



To develop a finite element analysis model of an 8 year old maxilla, zygoma and base of skull, for comparison of maxillary with established mandibular tooth eruption model.
To characterize the responsiveness of fibroblasts isolated from dental follicle, as well as organ cultures of dental follicle to compressive and tensile forces with regard to expression of genes associated with bone and soft tissue remodelling.
To evaluate the effect of reduced jaw movement on tooth eruption in rat pups.

Additional Information

This research study would be a multidsciplinary project, which involves academics and postgraduate students from the Cellular and Molecular Pathology Research Unit in Oral Pathology, Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering departments, Institute of Dental Research outside and inside of our school. This project is expected to establish a fundamentally new concept for tooth eruption, which is a biological process of central importance in clinical practice.

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Tooth eruption, mechanobiology, finite element analysis, dental follicle

Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is: 2396

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