Dental resin materials are composed of methacrylates that are linked through ester bonds. They are polymerized with visible light. Small molecules leach out of the materials and can come into contact with the tissues of the oral cavity. We found that triethylene glycol demethacrylate (TEGDMA) leaches out of the resin materials. Pulp and gingival fibroblasts respond to sub-lethal concentrations of TEGDMA by secreting a hydrolase enzyme into the media. This enzyme has the ability to hydrolyze the dental resin materials. We believe that this is one of the reasons that resin materials are more unstable than dental amalgam. We are currently looking at the signal transduction pathways through which the enzyme might be activated and secreted and investigating the identity of the enzyme.
PhD, University of Michigan, Medicinal Chemistry, 2001
BS, Purdue University, Pharmacy, 1989