Scott R. Schricker, PhD
University of California Santa Barbara, 1997, Organic Chemistry
Development of new polymers and monomers to improve dental materials and biomaterials. Recent work has focused on improving traditional dental materials specifically glass-ionomer cements and maxillofacial prosthetics. Development of nanostructured block copolymer surfaces to control protein and cellular interactions.
My research is focused on developing novel chemistry for dental materials and biomaterials. In particular, my research has focused on incorporating nanotechnology into dental materials. Nature designs materials at the nano-level, and teeth, bone and seashells are all examples of nano-structured hard tissue. The challenge in developing synthetic nano-structured materials is not only to mimic the length scale, but to mimic the specific interactions found in nature. Enamel is over 90% mineralized and this is possible because of the highly specific interactions between the nanoscale hydroxyapatite crystals and the protein matrix. Incorporating nano fillers into dental composites results in a loading limit of around 50%. Our own work with dendrimer, hyper branched polymers and polyhedral silsesquioxanes (POSS) reveals that there is a limit as to how much nano structured material can be incorporated in a dental material. Most of my recent work has focused on harnessing the self-assembly properties of block copolymers to control the biological or host response. Block copolymers can assemble into a variety of nanoscale patterns. The goal of this work is to understand how the nano morphology of the block copolymer will affect the adhesion and conformation of proteins on its surface.