Imke Boonen


Funding: FWO project

MS Vrije Universiteit Brussel, 2016

BA Vrije Universiteit Brussel, 2014

Room 7G426; Tel: +32-2-6293293

Supervisor: Prof. Marc Elskens

Research Summary: 

Whereas amalgam was previously the standard dental restorative material for carious or traumatized teeth, dental composites are nowadays routinely used. Their application is even expected to increase since the WHO has started propagating a general phasing down of the use of amalgam.
After a widespread clinical use of more than 25 years, dental composites appear an acceptable biological and functional substitute for amalgam. Yet, their biocompatibility is not yet fully characterized. As resin-based materials do not polymerize completely upon placement in the mouth, unpolymerized components may be released. Several eluates have been reported to exhibit different types of toxic effects, including endocrine-disruptive effects. Especially the release of the endocrine disruptor Bisphenol A (BPA) and related monomers from composites has raised concern. This is a translational project that focusses on the release of endocrine disruptive compounds, including BPA, from dental composites intending to bridge the gap between the current alarming toxicological literature and the seemingly favorable clinical observations. Unique to this project is the inter-university collaboration (KU Leuven – UA – VUB) and the integrated fundamental approach to investigating both chemical and biological activity of leached compounds. This will be investigated multidisciplinarily by in-vitro (analytical and bio-analytical) and in-vivo (biomonitoring) research, focusing on the long term.