USC University of Southern California

Ostrow Periodontology Resident Receives Academy of Osseointegration Foundation Research Grant

seonghong min
Seonghong Min PERIO ’14

By Beth Newcomb

Ostrow School of Dentistry resident Seonghong Min PERIO ’14 received a $25,000 research grant from the Academy of Osseointegration Foundation for his proposal on the effects of antibodies on the regrowth of jawbone.

Min’s project, “Antibody Mediated Osseous Regeneration (AMOR): bioengineering bone in rabbit model for repair of mandibular defects with and without loss of continuity,” will examine the process of regrowing missing jawbone in the presence of antibodies that bind to certain bone morphogenic proteins (BMP) expressed by the body.

Min says using the antibodies, placed on an absorbable collagen sponge at the site of the bone defect, provides better bone regrowth since it stimulates the activity of the body’s own BMP instead of requiring doses of BMP from other sources. The AMOR method not only grows bone faster but also poses fewer costs and health risks, he adds.

The project will specifically compare the results of the AMOR technique when used in sites with continuity (some existing bone already at the target site) and with no continuity (no bone located at the target site). The technique has several promising clinical implications, Min says.

“A variety of inflammatory and traumatic conditions, such as arthritis, osteonecrosis, periodontitis and osteoporosis, are associated with pathologic osteolysis regions,” Min says. “Repair and regeneration of these defects have traditionally been achieved with autologous bone grafting as a gold standard due to its osteogenic property. However, this is associated with disadvantages such as morbidity, limited availability of the donor site and limitations related to the shape and contour of the graft.”

“AMOR enables us to not harvest any bone from your body. AMOR doesn’t even need synthetic BMP – just your own endogenous BMP,” he adds.

The funds awarded to Min will help support his research for one year. He will present his work at the 2014 Academy of Osseointegration Annual Meeting in Seattle, Wash.

Min says he is deeply honored by the grant and that the award gives him more encouragement to continue on his path to a career in dental education and research. He shares his gratitude for those who have supported his work, including Advanced Periodontology Program Director Homa Zadeh.

“Dr. Zadeh has influenced me a lot. He is truly my role model as a researcher and periodontist,” he says. “I could not have had this wonderful achievement without his support and teaching.”