The National Institutes of Health awarded a Phase II grant to Yogesh K. Vohra, Ph.D., a professor and University Scholar in UAB’s College of Arts and Sciences, and Vista Engineering for their work on a temporomandibular joint prosthesis. The TMJ device under development has nano-diamond coated metal components and can be implanted with a single incision.
The UAB Department of Physics is developing a jaw simulator for this grant. The simulator is designed to test a 10-year life cycle for the TMJ prosthesis. “When you are chewing you are chewing at a rate of 1.2 cycles per second and we found that one million cycles in our simulator corresponds to approximately 10 years of clinical use,” says Vohra. “With the simulator we are building we will be able to simulate 10 years of chewing in about 10 days.” Approximately a half million people need TMJ surgical intervention in the United States every year.
Vohra is also working with Patrick J. Louis, D.D.S., M.D., director of the advanced educational program in the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery in UAB’s School of Dentistry and Aaron Catledge, an assistant professor in the UAB Department of Physics. The device is based on a UAB-owned U.S. patent entitled “Process for Ultra Smooth Diamond Coating on Metals and Uses Thereof.”