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Tara Aghaloo, DDS, MD, PhD


Tara Aghaloo

Hard and Soft Tissue Engineering to Regenerate Mandibular Segmental Defects

Dr. Tara Aghaloo is a Professor in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at the UCLA School of Dentistry. She completed her dental training at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery residency, MD, and PhD in Oral Biology at UCLA. She is a diplomate of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, and is a board examiner for the specialty. She has a very active clinical practice focusing on bone and soft tissue regeneration, dental implant surgery, and osteonecrosis of the jaws. She is also active in professional organizations where she is the Associate Editor for the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Past-President of the Academy of Osseointegration (AO), and a member of several American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) committees.  


Through-and-through mandibular defects can arise from the treatment of various pathological processes. Failure to successfully restore mandibular continuity results in devastating consequences for patients. Reconstruction usually involves major autogenous bone grafting with potential complications and morbidity. To explore tissue engineering alternatives to hard and soft tissue grafting for mandibular continuity defects, we created a clinically relevant rat segmental defect model. Though our long-term goal is to incorporate growth factor and collagen matrix-based technologies that can translate basic science research to solve important clinical problems, the short-term goal of this proposal is to explore bone and soft tissue regeneration in animals with mandibular continuity defects. Here, we will directly evaluate rhBMP-2 with Bio-oss +/- cross-linked collagen compared to autogenous bone in mandibular defect bone and soft tissue regeneration. Our rationale is that identifying effective tissue engineering constructs for segmental mandibular defects will improve outcomes and decrease morbidity of autologous-based treatment protocols.


1. Jiabing Fan, Joan Pi-Anfruns, Mian Guo, Dan C. S. Im, Zhong-Kai Cui, Soyon Kim, Benjamin M. Wu, Tara L. Aghaloo & Min Lee. Small molecule-mediated tribbles homolog 3 promotes bone formation induced by bone morphogenetic protein-2. Scientific Reports, published online: 2017. Full Article.


1. Kim IA, Bezouglaia O, Sebastian C, Lee M, Grogan T, St John M, Aghaloo T. Bio-Oss® Successfully Induces Bone Healing in a Marginal Mandibular Defect. Annual American College of Surgeons meeting, Jan 18, 2015, oral abstract presentation.


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