Dr. David Dean's research activities focus on three main areas.
1) The first area of interest involves examining how osteoblasts interact with titanium implant surfaces and the role of arachidonic acid metabolites (prostaglandin E2, arachidonic acid, and nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs) in regulating osteoblast response. The laboratory has developing methods for measuring changes in gene expression during the first 3-6 hours of culture on an implant surface so that it is possible to examine some of the very earliest cell responses to titanium or other biomaterials.
2) A second area focuses on isolating and characterizing wear debris particles from resin, wear machine fluids, and tissues. The laboratory is actively working on fractionating wear debris particles into micron, sub-micron, and nanometer size ranges. After fractionation, particle preparations will be tested for their effect on osteoblasts; changes in gene expression, as well as differentiation, proliferation, and local factor production, will be assessed.
3) The third area of research is a joint effort with colleagues in Biomedical Engineering at UTSA, Carnegie Mellon University, and Brooke Army Medical Center/Institute for Surgical Research to develop tissue engineering scaffolds for bone repair. The research focuses on developing new materials for regenerating large segments of bone lost due to trauma such as encountered on the battlefield.