Professor Matinlinna (left)
and Dr Andy Choi (right)
In late 2010, Dr Andy Choi was successfully awarded an Endeavour Australia Cheung Kong Research Fellowship starting in 2011. This prestigious and highly competitive fellowship gives Australian PhD and postdoctoral candidates the chance to gain several months of research experience in Hong Kong and Asia.
Dr Choi completed his PhD at UTS in 2004. His project focused on the application of finite element analysis, a software system used by engineers and designers to perform engineering simulations and calculations in the field of dentistry and implantology. He analysed the stress and distortion of the human mandible during functional movements as well as the biomechanical behaviour of ceramic and metallic dental implants incorporated into the mandible model.
Following on from his PhD studies, Dr Choi was interested in furthering his knowledge and skills in the field of implant dentistry and finite element analysis. After some discussion with his PhD supervisor, Dr Choi decided to apply for the Endeavour Australia Cheung Kong Research Fellowship.
“I spoke to Professor Besim Ben-Nissan about future funding opportunities to continue my PhD work and one of his suggestions was to explore the Endeavour Research Fellowships and in particular, the Endeavour Australia Cheung Kong Postdoctoral Research Fellowship”.
“I submitted an application with the guidance of both Professor Ben-Nissan and Associate Professor Matinlinna of Dental Materials Science in the Faculty of Dentistry, University of Hong Kong and was successful in obtaining a place in the 2011 fellowship program,” said Dr Choi.
Dr Choi will be working as an honorary Assistant Professor and Postdoctoral Research Fellow alongside Associate Professor Matinlinna at the University of Hong Kong’s Faculty of Dentistry. Associate Professor Matinlinna’s research area focuses on the chemical and biomechanical properties of such “hot” biomaterials as zirconia (zirconium dioxide) and titanium. These studies are carried out in cooperation with other disciplines at the dental faculty and within the international network. The complex behaviour of zirconia is not yet sufficiently understood and reported.
Mandible model of jaw bone
based on Dr Andy Choi’s research in Hong Kong
With the guidance and supervision of Associate Professor Matinlinna, Dr Choi hopes to expand the understanding of zirconia and titanium in particular as dental subgingival implants, and their biomechanical differences and the need for finite element analysis as a primary modern tool.
This collaborative research will involve developing a mandible (jaw) model based on individual patient’s computed tomography (CT) scans. The model can then be utilized in a personal computer or laptop by a dental clinician to simulate functional movements with appropriate mandibular anatomy and biomechanical loading. The model aims to be used for the adaptability of dental devices such as Zirconia implants and bridges to the patient’s anatomic geometry giving a more accurate study of their functional movements and load bearing capabilities. The research project aims to understand the issues of functional movement of the mandible and the application of this knowledge to the design of new dental devices and implants.
Dr Choi explains, “Winning the Endeavour Award has definitely opened a few doors for me in terms of collaboration with one of the top dental schools in Asia. The objective of my fellowship research is to broaden understanding in biomechanics and contribute to teaching at dental and medical faculties. After this fellowship opportunity I hope, with some hard work and good luck, to be able to join the Faculty of Dentistry and continue a career in research in the near future.”