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CAMP December Newsletter: Page 6

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CAMP Professor Igor Sokolov Discovers New Technique for Protecting Teeth from Cavities

CAMP Professor Igor Sokolov and graduate student Ravi M. Gaikwad have discovered a new method of protecting teeth from cavities by ultrafine polishing with silica nanoparticles. See Figures 2 and 3. They adopted polishing technology used in the semiconductor industry (chemical-mechanical planarization) to polish the surface of human teeth down to nanoscale roughness. Roughness left on the tooth after the polishing is just a few nanometers, which is one-billionth of a meter or about 100,000 times smaller than a grain of sand. It was measured using an Atomic Force Microscope. Sokolov and Gaikwad showed that teeth polished in this way become too "slippery" for the "bad" bacteria that are responsible for the destruction of dental enamel. As a result, the bacteria can be removed easily before they cause damage to the enamel.

Although silica particles have been used before for tooth polishing, polishing with nanosized particles has not been reported. The researchers hypothesized that such polishing may protect a tooth’s surface against the damage caused by cariogenic bacteria, because the bacteria can be removed easily from such a polished surface. The results of this work were published in the October 2008 issue of the Journal of Dental Research, the dentistry journal with the top worldwide scientific impact index.

Igor Sokolov is a professor of physics, a professor of chemical and biomolecular science, and director of Clarkson’s Nanoengineering and Biotechnology Laboratories Center (NABLAB). Ravi Gaikwad is a graduate student in physics. This is one of the first research projects to be carried out in the recently established NABLAB.

More information about this project can be found at the following location.



Figure 2:  On the left, bacteria and roughness are clearly seen on the surface of the human tooth before polishing with nanoparticles.  On the right, the tooth surface can be seen after polishing.
Figure 3:  Partially polished tooth covered by carious bacteria before and after rinsing.

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Clarkson University’s Liya Regel Named Distinguished Research Professor of Engineering

Professor Liya L. Regel has been named Distinguished Research Professor of Engineering at Clarkson University. Regel is associated with both the Department of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. This recognition was recommended enthusiastically by the Coulter School of Engineering Dean’s Leadership Council and by unanimous resolution from the University Board of Trustees.

Born and educated in Russia, Regel holds that country’s highest academic degree, the doctor of science, in physics and mathematics, in addition to a Ph.D. in physics and mathematical sciences (solid state physics). Since 1991, Regel has served as the director of Clarkson’s International Center for Gravity Material Science and Applications. She has directed 21 Ph.D. theses and 33 M.S. theses to completion, and is a member of Clarkson’s Million Dollar Club in acknowledgment of more than $2.5 million in funding for her research while at Clarkson.

The international scientific community has recognized Regel as a highly innovative materials scientist. Among the many honors and awards bestowed upon her, she was elected a member of the prestigious International Academy of Astronautics (IAA), and is the first materials scientist to receive IAA’s Basic Science Achievement Award and its Basic Science Best Book Award. She received an honorary doctor of science degree from Clarkson in 2002 and an honorary doctor of science from Alabama A&M University in 2006.

Among her significant achievements are many successful experiments in space. Regel pioneered research on materials processing in giant centrifuges, high-energy heavy-ion implantation, fabrication of optical wave guides, and conversion of graphite to diamond at low temperature and pressure.

She has published more than 270 scientific papers, and is author and co-author of 12 monographs and proceedings published in France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States. She has been an assiduous ambassador for Clarkson by presenting numerous keynote addresses, plenary lectures and invited papers at national and international scientific meetings, universities, companies, and government agencies around the world. She has held many leadership roles in scientific organizations and organized numerous conferences and sessions, many of these at Clarkson.