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Tuesday 26 May 2015 4:09pm

SJWRI researchers have gained over $100,000 in funding from the Lottery Grants Board for equipment to support research aimed at improving the health of New Zealanders.

Professor Mauro Farella and colleagues from the Craniofacial Biology and Clinical Oral Physiology research programme were awarded $90,000 towards the purchase of a 3dMDtrio Imaging System and software, while Wendy-Ann Jansen van Vuuren of Biomechanics and Oral Implantology was awarded $15,417 towards a Proto-Tech Thermocycler Unit.

The 3dMDtrio system is a portable, ultra-fast, high-precision surface imaging device consisting of nine medical grade cameras and a synchonised flash system, which is designed to capture detailed 3D images of the face at very high resolution. Prof Farella and his colleagues plan to use the 3dMDtrio imaging system to investigate facial deformities such as cleft lip and palate, evaluate treatment outcomes following orthodontics or corrective jaw surgery, and assess new and innovative treatments such as 3D printing of facial prosthetics in head and neck cancer patients. As well as clinical applications, this technology is well suited for investigating the genetic basis of face and jaw abnormalities.

The Proto-Tech Thermocycler Unit will be used in Biomaterials research to simulate temperature changes to which dental restorations are subjected in the oral cavity. The breakdown of dental restorations in the mouth can be aggravated by thermal changes, induced by routine eating, drinking and breathing. By subjecting prototype restorations and other biomaterials to temperature fluctuations, accelerated aging experiments can be conducted to reveal possible weaknesses. This will aid in the development of improved dental materials with higher fracture toughness and wear resistance.

In this funding round, University of Otago researchers gained nearly $2.2M in funding from the Lottery Grants Board to support health research. Researchers from across the University received 19 translational research grants, 10 equipment grants, two postdoctoral scholarships and two PhD scholarships. Nationally, around $3.8M, comprising 64 grants, was distributed in the Lottery Health Research 2014/2015 funding round.

More on the Craniofacial Biology and Clinical Oral Pathology research programme

More on the Biomaterials and Oral Implantology research programme

University of Otago researchers gain nearly $2.2M in funding from the Lottery Grants Board
(University of Otago news story, May 25)

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