Amelogenesis (Im)perfecta


Amelogenesis (Im)Perfecta  SymbioticA, University of Western Australia

Amelogenesis (Im)Perfecta is an experimental biological research project that fused the disciplines of art and dentistry, conducted during a 6-month residency at SymbioticA Centre of Excellence in Biological Arts, University of Western Australia, Perth. By borrowing techniques, technologies, and biomaterials from dental science, Khang explored the possibilities of growing enamel in vitro to produce what are in effect 'enamel sculptures.' Epithelial and mesenchymal cells were harvested from an unerupted porcine enamel organ / tooth bud, and grown in vitro, to be seeded onto a synthetic bioscaffold.

While the project failed in its objective of growing enamel, the epithelial cells that would have differentiated into ameloblasts (enamel-producing cells) were seeded instead onto glass slides. These functioned as the 'canvas' upon which the cells were 'drawn' on with a precise cutting laser under high magnification. The laser-drawings on the sheet of cells are invisible to the naked human eye, and become visible under a microscope.

This residency was generously funded by The Canada Council for the Arts and the British Columbia Arts Council.

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