Research in the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (OMFS) ranges from tissue engineering to development of new surgical techniques and improving clinical outcomes.

Research Labs

Center for Applied Clinical Investigation (CACI)

The center is dedicated to understanding the variables that contribute to manageable risks and complications and to guiding oral and maxillofacial surgeons to the best outcomes based on scientific evidence.

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Skeletal Biology Research Center

The Skeletal Biology Research Center (SBRC) applies advances in treatment to the art of reconstruction for congenital and acquired facial deformities.

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Research Projects

Evaluating the effects of marijuana on orthodontic tooth movement in rats

Katherine Klein, DMD

The study intends to understand better the effect of Cannabis sativa on bone remodeling, the rate of orthodontic space closure using an intraoral appliance, and determine if root resorption is affected by exposure to Cannabis sativa in rats. For this we will use rats, cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT), orthodontic appliances, digital slide calipers, Dynamometer and histology analysis.

Associated Osteonecrosis of the Jaws (MRONJ)

Jose Pereira Da Silva

The aim of this study is to identify possible gene polymorphism that could trigger the onset of MRONJ and this will provide information on the feasibility and clinical applicability of genome sequencing in MRONJ. The study population will be divided in three groups. Blood samples of all three groups will be collected for genomic DNA extraction. The control group will be consisted of healthy patients who will be submitted to orthognathic surgery. Blood samples will be collected before the surgical procedure with patients under general anesthesia. Blood samples from a database of patients diagnosed with multiple myeloma will be selected from Center for Multiple Myeloma, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, treated with IV Zoledronic acid. Data collection will include demographics, clinical data of underlying disease and drug intake of patients who has presented (group II) or not clinical diagnosis of ONJ (group III).

Vidscrip Study

Joshua Christopher Kwolek

A randomized controlled trial on the effects of audiovisual media on patient retention of care information in an outpatient setting. Goal is to produce a 35% increase in retention.

Radiography Study

Joshua Christopher Kwolek

A retrospective analysis as part of ongoing quality efforts within the department. Examining repeats of panoramic, PA cephalometric, and Lateral cephalometric radiographs and comparing these to international baselines.

Quality and Safety Review

Joshua Christopher Kwolek

Aims to provide historical context for and overview of the modern American healthcare Q&S landscape. Terminology, acronyms, organizations, and interconnections are examined and summarized in the context of the medical industry and American health policy as a whole.

Mandible reconstruction in minipig

Baboucarr Lowe

This project is focused on combined application of 3D printed scaffolds and autologous stem cells for reconstruction of large biocortical defects on Yucatan minipig Models. Also, working on developing an alternative fabrication strategy for in house printing of 3D scaffold for bone tissue engineering applications with improved micro-architecture.

Temporomandibular regeneration

Baboucarr Lowe

This project is aimed at fabricating a highly functionalized nano-gel for temporomandibular (TMJ) regeneration on mouse model. As part of this project, we will study the joint anatomy (TMJ and Knee) and develop a protocol for arthroscopic partial discectomy on mice (both TMJ and knee joints).

Association between craniomaxillofacial fractures and cervical spine fractures and ligamentous injuries

Esa Farkkila, MD, DDS

This is a retrospective analysis of patients admitted to MGH with cervical spine injury (CSI) and concomitant craniomaxillofacial fractures. The aims this study are: 1) to determine the association between CSI and craniomaxillofacial fractures, 2) to determine which craniomaxillofacial fractures are most frequently associated with cervical spine injuries, 3) to determine the most common mechanisms of injury in patients with CSI and craniomaxillofacial fractures, 4) to determine the association of CMF fractures in patients initially admitted to Mass General with what was thought to be cervical spine injuries only.

Data sources: Mass General trauma registry, Mass General Hospital and outpatient records. IRB active
Collaborators: Esa Farkkila, Leonard B. Kaban, MGH Trauma Service Coordinator, George Velmahos, Richard J. Tannyhill

Histopathologic analysis of idiopathic condylar resorption and hyperplasia

Esa Farkkila, MD, DDS

This is a retrospective histopathologic analysis of mandibular condyles resected in patients with idiopathic condylar resorption or condylar hyperplasia at Mass General. Aims of this study are: 1) to characterize the histology of active condylar resorption 2) to characterize the histology of active condylar hyperplasia 3) to correlate histopathologic findings with preoperative bone scintigraphy with Tc99-m methyl diphosphonate SPECT and Planar scans.4) to correlate histology and bone scan data with clinical history of progression of the disorders.

Data Sources: Mass General Pathology registry, Mass General Pathology specimens, OMFS data bases, Mass General inpatient and outpatient records. IRB active
Collaborators: Esa Farkkila, Leonard B. Kaban, Zachary Peacock, Petur Nielsen, Anne-Frederique Chouinard

3D printing, modifying current micro architecture to increase neovascularization in the center and, in vitro assessment

Fernando Pozzi Semeghini Guastaldi

The aim of this study will be to evaluate porcine bone marrow-derived progenitor cell (pBMPC) proliferation and penetration into different 3D printed scaffolds designs and micro architecture to increase the neovascularization in the center of the constructs. Different designs and micro architecture tissue engineering scaffolds will be 3D printed from the combination of β-TCP and PCL. The pBMPCs will be harvested, isolated, expanded, and differentiated into osteoblasts. Cells will be seeded into the scaffolds and constructs will be incubated in a rotational oxygen-permeable bioreactor system. Before cell seeding, the 3D printed scaffolds will be submitted to physicochemical, morphological and mechanical characterization. The constructs (scaffold plus cells) will be grossly examined for scaffold shrinkage and deformation. Cell proliferation and penetration will be conducted in the whole constructs.

SIMPL (System for Improving and Measuring Procedural Learning) Smartphone Application

Alyssa Cappetta

We have multiple studies surrounding the SIMPL (System for Improving and Measuring Procedural Learning) Smartphone Application, and testing the feasibility of incorporating it into the OMFS residency program as a procedural evaluation tool, as well as testing its effectiveness as a discussion tool and effectiveness of the feedback that it provides to faculty and trainees. We will be conducting a survey to the residents on resident burnout levels, and are implementing the residency coaching program (started in internal medicine, now being expanded to other departments at MGH), to hopefully help reduce that level of burnout among residents. I am also writing a review on the adult learner and how to teach the surgical trainee.