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Office Location:
409 Salk Pavilion

Mailing address:
335 Sutherland Drive


Phone: 412-648-3101

Other Affiliations:
Department of Bioengineering, McGowan Institute of Regenerative Medicine


Alejandro J. Almarza, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Oral and Craniofacial Sciences
University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine

Research Interests

We are using a splint-induced malocclusion model of TMD pain to understand the link between cartilage damage and TMJ pain.

For tissue engineering, we are currently testing the in vivo regeneration potential of TMJ disc scaffolds derived from porcine small intestine submucosa matrix, and are working towards FDA approval for first-in-human.

We are investigating the application of a novel polymeric blend of PEG, gelatin, and heparin, for bone and cartilage engineering. The material superiority regards its load-transduction to osteogenic cells, steady biodegradability and the ability of application in non-uniformly loaded defects such as craniofacial osteo/chondro defects.

Technique Expertise or Resources to share

Mechanical testing of soft and hard tissues and materials.  Small and large animal models for cartilage and bone healing. 


Temporomandibular joint


Lab website:


Lab Members

John Li PhD student
Sara Trbojevic PhD student