Mills mentors high school student focused on TMJD research

Jan 22, 2023 | Applied and Natural Sciences, Faculty/Staff, General News

Dr. David K. Mills, a Professor in the School of Biological Sciences at Louisiana Tech University, has been appointed to the International Research Institute of North Carolina (IRI) faculty at the rank of Professor. Mills’s primary responsibility is virtually mentoring IRI high school students in a research project leading to a peer-reviewed publication. 

Sarah Zhu, a high school student in Toronto, Canada, has been working with Mills since June 2022 and has presented her project concept via Zoom: develop a new treatment for temporomandibular joint disorders.

Temporomandibular disorders (TMJD) are disorders of the jaw muscles, temporomandibular joints, and nerves associated with chronic facial pain. A large part of the work done in Mills’s lab is focused on engineering tissues for TMJD repair or replacement.

Zhu aims to develop a novel nanofiber produced by solution blow spinning (SBS) to treat TMJD. Repair would involve surgical removal of the damaged tissue and replacing it with an SBS blow-spun scaffold. The SBS should be very effective in producing effective treatment with minimal surgical intervention.