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Stefan Habelitz Ph.D.

In-vitro Synthesis of Mineralized Tissues

Stefan Habelitz Ph.D.

Stefan Habelitz is a Materials Scientist and Chemist and Associate Professor at the Department of Preventive and Restorative Dental Sciences at the School of Dentistry at UCSF. His research focuses on understanding how matrix proteins control mineralization in enamel and dentin. Current approaches include: 1. Remineralization of Dentin Caries Lesions: Anionic polymers, like Poly-Aspartic Acid, are used to induce intrafibrillar mineral within collagen fibrils. This project attempts to recover lost dental tissue function by a mineralization process, (see, Burwell et al. PLOS-One 2011). 2. Mimicking Enamel Formation In-Vitro: Our recent studies in the lab have shown that amelogenin can self-assemble into ribbons which self-align and form an organic matrix mimicking the organization of apatite nanofibers in dental enamel. In this project we attempt to induce apatite crystallization on amelogenin templates to obtain materials similar to enamel (Martinez-Avila et al., Biomacromolecules 2012). 3. Micropatterned Porous Membranes for Dental Tissue Synthesis: In this project we designed a variety of porous membranes that enable the precise positioning of cells thus facilitating cellular organization similar to odontoblasts at the pulpal wall. We study the potential of these membranes for in-vitro synthesis of dentin and enamel using dental stem cells, embryonic stem cell and iPS cells.

Selected publications:

Khan F, Liu H, Reyes A, Witkowska HE, Martinez-Avila O, Zhu L, Li W, Habelitz S. The proteolytic processing of amelogenin by enamel matrix metalloproteinase (MMP-20) is controlled by mineral ions. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2013 Mar; 1830(3):2600-7.

Martinez-Avila O, Wu S, Kim SJ, Cheng Y, Khan F, Samudrala R, Sali A, Horst JA, Habelitz S. Self-Assembly of Filamentous Amelogenin Requires Calcium and Phosphate: From Dimers via Nanoribbons to Fibrils. Biomacromolecules. 2012 Nov 12; 13(11):3494-502.

Denning D, Alilat S, Habelitz S, Fertala A, Rodriguez BJ. Visualizing molecular polar order in tissues via electromechanical coupling. J Struct Biol. 2012 Dec; 180(3):409-19.

Denning D, Abu-Rub MT, Zeugolis DI, Habelitz S, Pandit A, Fertala A, Rodriguez BJ. Electromechanical properties of dried tendon and isoelectrically focused collagen hydrogels. Acta Biomater. 2012 Aug; 8(8):3073-9.

Khan F, Li W, Habelitz S. Biophysical characterization of synthetic amelogenin C-terminal peptides. Eur J Oral Sci. 2012 Apr; 120(2):113-22.

Martinez-Avila OM, Wu S, Cheng Y, Lee R, Khan F, Habelitz S. Self-assembly of amelogenin proteins at the water-oil interface. Eur J Oral Sci. 2011 Dec; 119 Suppl 1:75-82.

Uskokovic V, Khan F, Liu H, Witkowska HE, Zhu L, Li W, Habelitz S. Hydrolysis of amelogenin by matrix metalloprotease-20 accelerates mineralization in vitro. Arch Oral Biol. 2011 Dec; 56(12):1548-59.

Zhu L, Uskokovic V, Le T, Denbesten P, Huang Y, Habelitz S, Li W. Altered self-assembly and apatite binding of amelogenin induced by N-terminal proline mutation. Arch Oral Biol. 2011 Apr; 56(4):331-6.

Bertassoni LE, Habelitz S, Marshall SJ, Marshall GW. Mechanical recovery of dentin following remineralization in vitro--an indentation study. J Biomech. 2011 Jan 4; 44(1):176-81.

Uskokovic V, Odsinada R, Djordjevic S, Habelitz S. Dynamic light scattering and zeta potential of colloidal mixtures of amelogenin and hydroxyapatite in calcium and phosphate rich ionic milieus. Arch Oral Biol. 2011 Jun; 56(6):521-32.

He X, Wu S, Martinez-Avila O, Cheng Y, Habelitz S. Self-aligning amelogenin nanoribbons in oil-water system. J Struct Biol. 2011 Apr; 174(1):203-12.

Bertassoni LE, Habelitz S, Pugach M, Soares PC, Marshall SJ, Marshall GW. Evaluation of surface structural and mechanical changes following remineralization of dentin. Scanning. 2010 Sep-Oct; 32(5):312-9.