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7 October 2020

EFP postgraduate research prizes go to studies of fibrin, bone regeneration, peri-implant mucositis, and connective-tissue grafts

Categories: Education, Institutional

The EFP has awarded its annual prizes for postgraduate research, which are designed to encourage research at the EFP-accredited postgraduate programmes in periodontology.

The first prize for pre-clinical/basic research was awarded to Luciano Pitzurra, of Academic Centre for Dentistry Amsterdam (ACTA) in the Netherlands, for the paper Effects of L-PRF and A-PRF+ on periodontal fibroblasts in in vitro wound-healing experiments, published in the Journal of Periodontal Research.

This research sought to determine whether leukocyte-platelet-rich fibrin (L-PRF) and advanced platelet-rich fibrin (A-PRF+) differ in their in vitro capacity to induce proliferation and migration of periodontal fibroblasts. The study found that both approaches produced significantly faster artificial wound closure than controls but in the stoppage phase, induced migration was higher for A-PRF+ than for L-PRF.

Dr Pitzurra and his colleagues concluded that both L-PRF and A-PRF+ “have a stimulatory effect on migration and proliferation of periodontal fibroblasts, and artificial wound closure was longer sustained by A-PRF+ than L-PRF.”

Carla Mozas' paper

The second prize for pre-clinical/basic research went to Bruno de Carvalho, of the University of Liège in Belgium, for the study Effects of sintering on in vivo biological performance of chemically deproteinized bovine hydroxyapatite, which was published in the journal Materials.

This research investigated the effect of different heat treatments of an experimental chemically-deproteinized bovine hydroxyapatite in vivo in terms of new bone formation and osteo-conductivity.

The first prize for clinical research was awarded to Carla Mozas, of the International University of Catalonia (UIC) in Spain, for the study Adjunctive effect of modifying the implant-supported prosthesis in the treatment of peri-implant mucositis, published in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology.

This six-month randomised controlled clinical trial concluded that modifying the prosthesis to improve access for oral hygiene “significantly improved the clinical outcomes” after standard mechanical treatment of peri-implant mucositis.

Luciano Pitzurra's paper

The second prize for clinical research went to Alexandra Stähli, of the University of Bern in Switzerland, for Effect of enamel matrix derivative on wound healing following gingival recession coverage using the modified coronally advanced tunnel and subepithelial connective tissue graft: a randomised, controlled, clinical study, which was published in Clinical Oral Investigations.

This research found that early wound healing following recession coverage by means of the modified coronally advanced tunnel (MCAT) and subepithelial connective tissue graft (sCTG) does not seem to be influenced by the additional application of an enamel matrix derivative.

The winner papers were chosen by a jury comprising Phoebus Madianos (chair, EFP scientific affairs committee), Moshe Goldstein (chair, EFP postgraduate committee), Wim Teughels (member, EFP postgraduate committee), and Andreas Stavropoulos (EFP scientific affairs committee).

Luciano Pitzurra

“It is a great honour to receive this prize from the EFP,” said prize winner Luciano Pitzurra. “Thanks to the EFP for this award and its support to research and researchers shown on many different occasions. It is for sure an extra incentive for young scientists to strive for excellence in any field.”

He added that the prize was the result of “intense hours of hard work spent in brainstorming research meetings, laboratory work, and image analysis”.

Explaining the aims of the research, he noted that while various techniques to obtain PRFs are now available, very often clinical considerations take priority over the scientific background. “So, we had the idea of drawing a model for wound healing independent from the body, aiming at one important cell for our periodontal world: periodontal fibroblasts. I believe that in the future directing the growth of different cell types will be the key for a proper periodontal regeneration.”

Carla Mozas

Carla Mozas said she was very happy to receive the award which represented “the reward of my three years of research work. From the beginning, the entire team believed in the necessity of continuing with the research and publications about peri-implant diseases, given their prevalence. Therefore, the aim of the study line was to prevent peri-implantitis.”

She added that since the study’s publication, the research team is “realising how it is having a great clinical repercussion due to the protocol’s simplicity and the high effectiveness of the results. It is gratifying to see how we help clinicians and how we contribute to science.”

EFP postgraduate research prizes

Every year, the EFP awards prizes in the two categories of clinical research and pre-clinical/basic research and the competition is open to all students of the EFP-accredited postgraduate programmes in periodontology, now taught at 16 universities in 12 countries.

The research work must have been published in print between January and December of the year before the presentation of the prize in the EFP’s Journal of Clinical Periodontology or in another international English-language peer-reviewed scientific journal. The graduate student must be the first or second author of the research and the study must be performed by the student as part of the requirements of the postgraduate programme.

The winners of the first prize in each category receive a monetary award of €1,000 while the runners-up receive €750.

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