A call to action for bioengineers and dental professionals: Directives for the future of TMJ bioengineering

Michael S. Detamore, Kyriacos A. Athanasiou, Jeremy Mao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


The world's first TMJ Bioengineering Conference was held May 25-27, 2006, in Broomfield, Colorado. Presentations were given by 34 invited speakers representing industry, academics, government agencies such as NIH, and private practice, which included surgeons, engineers, biomedical scientists, and patient advocacy leaders. Other attendees included documentary film makers and FDA officials. The impetus for the conference was that the field of TMJ research has been lacking continuity, with no open forum available for surgeons, scientists, and bioengineers to exchange scientific and clinical ideas and identify common goals, strengths, and capabilities. The goal was thus to plant the seeds for establishing a forum for multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary interactions. The collective wisdom and interactions brought about by a melting pot of these diverse individuals has been pooled and is disseminated in this article, which offers specific directives to bioengineers, basic scientists, and medical and dental professionals including oral and maxillofacial surgeons, pain specialists, orthodontists, prosthodontists, endocrinologists, rheumatologists, immunologists, radiologists, neurologists, and orthopaedic surgeons. A primary goal of this article was to attract researchers across a breadth of research areas to lend their expertise to a significant clinical problem with a dire need for new talent. For example, researchers with expertise in finite element modeling will find an extensive list of clinically significant problems. Specific suggestions for TMJ research were presented by the leading organizations for TMJ surgeons and TMJ patients, and further research needs were identified in a series of group discussions. The specific needs identified at the conference and presented here will be essential for those who endeavor to engage in TMJ research, especially in the areas of tissue engineering and biomechanics. Collectively, it is our hope that many of the questions and directives presented here find their way into the proposals of multidisciplinary teams across the world with new and promising approaches to diagnose, prevent and treat TMJ disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1301-1311
Number of pages11
JournalAnnals of Biomedical Engineering
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Biology
  • Biomechanics
  • Finite element modeling
  • Genomics
  • Proteomics
  • Temporomandibular joint
  • Tissue engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering


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