Bedran-Russo Research Group

The Bedran-Russo Research Group is mainly focused on the studies of mechanical, biochemical and ultrastructural properties of the dental tissues and the interface between biomaterials and tooth structures.

Some of the research programs include:

  • Understand Pathological and Physiological Process in Teeth​
  • Development of Bioinspired Dental Biomaterials

We utilize biomimetic strategies to reinforce and protect the natural dentition for many dental applications. Biomimetics is a field that involves many sciences to understand model systems and mimic these processes. Our group utilizes this concept to ultimately sustain a healthy teeth.

The objectives of the group are to:​

  • Advance and systematically characterize bioinspired strategies to enhance the properties of the tissue and biointerfaces
  • Develop novel therapies to replace and repair tooth structures and supporting systems
  • Translate and validate bench-top technology to every day clinical practice
  • Improve dental therapy outcomes and the quality of life. ​


  • Dr. Mariana Reis, post-doctoral researcher, has been awarded a Pathway to Independence Award from the National Institutes of Health worth about $1,457,000 to study the effect aging and periodontal disease has on oral health in living organisms (Read more).
  • Dr. Ana Bedran-Russo was elected Treasurer of the American Association for Dental, Oral, and Craniofacial Research (AADOCR, formerly AADR). Ana Bedran-Russo, D.D.S., Ph.D. has also served as the past Chair of the American Dental Association Council on Scientific Affairs and is a current member. Dr. Bedran-Russo will be installed, and her term will commence at the conclusion of the 51st Annual Meeting of the AADOCR that will take place from March 21-26 in Atlanta (Read more).
  • Mitchell Piacsek, Class of 2023, is the recipient of the 2021 Ralph Phillips Student Research Award. This competitive student award from the Academy of Operative Dentistry will provide funds for Mr. Piacsek to carry out a research project entitled “Pulpal stem cells differentiation and dentin formation mediated by plant biopolymers” and present the results as a Clinic Table at the 2022 Annual Meetings of the Academy in Chicago in February 2022.
  • Dr. Ana Bedran-Russo,  Professor and Chair, General Dental Sciences, received the Way Kingler Fellowship Award at the Distinguished Scholars program on April 13, 2021.

Current Research Projects

Dentin Biomodification​

Dentin biomodification

  • We utilize natural products from plants and barks that contain active molecules called proanthocyanidins (PAC), which can strengthen the dentin matrix within the tooth and consequently increase the properties of the tooth for many clinical applications.


Multi-scale Mechanical Behavior of the Dentin​

Dynamic mechanical analysis of dentin - microscale


Dynamic mechanical analysis of dentin - nanoscale

  • Considering the viscoelastic nature of teeth, we have developed protocols of analysis using dynamic mechanical testing in micro and nanoscale.
  • The obtained results (modulus of elasticity, hardness, complex, storage and loss moduli, and tan δ) help us better understand the dentin’s behavior under different treatments or conditions.


Dentin-resin Interface Enhancement

Dentin-resin interface enhancement

  • Adhesive restorations are used to repair carious dental tissue, however the interface formed by the dentin matrix, residual hydroxyapatite crystallites, resin monomers and solvents are still a weak area. We develop novel dental bioadhesives to enhance the dentin interface.


Biochemical Characterization of Dentin Collagen

Biochemical characterization of dentin collagen

  • We measure the area of assigned bands to obtain indices of mineralization, crystallinity, collagen maturity, collagen crosslinking, abundance of non-collagenous proteins and others.


Advanced Glycation End-products (AGEs) and the Dentin Matrix

Advanced glycation end-products

Advanced glycation end-products

  • Glycation is a non-enzymatic physiological process in human aging resulting in the accumulation of AGEs in proteins like collagen.
  • Also, AGEs are found in caries-affected dentin and in aging teeth.​ We study the mechanical and biochemical effects of the accumulation of AGEs in the teeth to further propose strategies to revert or decrease those effects.​


Ultrastructure of Dentin Collagen

Small angle X-ray ​  diffraction scattering (SAXS)​

Atomic force microscopy (AFM)​

  • The ultrastructure of dentin collagen fibrils are assessed by AFM and SAXS.
  • Dentin collagen fibrils change their morphology and ultrastructure according to treatment and even age of the tooth. ​

Dentin Proteomics

Dentin proteomics

  • We use proteomics to profile the dentin ECM of young and older adult human teeth.
  • Results showed the identification of 341 unique ECM proteins.
  • The dentin matrisome of young and old dentin was defined.


Polylactide (PLA) capsules​

Polylactide (PLA) capsules​

  • We work with micron and submicron PLA capsules as a drug delivery approach to be added in restorative materials like, dental adhesive.
  • The purpose is to release and sustain bioactives and ultimate enhance the stability of dentin-resin adhesive interfaces.​
  • Encapsulated bioactives are released through the controlled degradation of the capsule shell material and can be used in many clinical applications.​

Contact Us

Ana Bedran-Russo
Professor and Chair - Department of General Dental Sciences

Marquette University School of Dentistry, Room 336
1801 W. Wisconsin Ave.
Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881
(414) 288-0761