Oral dysfunction

Symptoms of temporomandibular disorders are an impaired mobility of the mandible, pain and stiffness of the masticatory muscles as well as pain and sounds in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ).

Research in this domain is based on quantitative instrumental assessment of these conditions, mainly performed by means of sophisticated innovative and original devices. Furthermore, TMJ loading is reproduced in a live tissue model in order to assess biological response of cartilage and its breakdown.

Main projects focus on:

  • Dynamic stereometry of the masticatory system, i.e. a method combining the three-dimensional software reconstruction of the joint structure (obtained by segmentation of a stack of tomographic images) with jaw movement data (obtained by means of optoelectronic tracking with 6 degrees-of-freedom).
  • Mechanisms of action of occlusal appliances such as Michigan splints.
  • Kinematic analysis of TMJ prostheses (AO foundation project AOCMF-13-04G).
  • Electromyographic long-time recording of the activity of the masticatory muscles by means of small portable biosignal recorders.
  • Real-time recognition of masticatory muscle activity and biofeedback.
  • Multifactorial assessment of TMD risk indicators (NIH project #2R01DE016417-05A1).
  • Dynamic finite element analysis of articular cartilage.
  • Catabolic and anabolic reaction of dynamically loaded chondrocytes under biomimetic conditions (SNSF project #325230-130715).