Please note: The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio will now be called "UT Health San Antonio."

Search Program Faculty/Research

Anson Ong, Ph.D.

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Dr. Anson Ong's primary research focus on modifications and characterization of implant biomaterial surfaces for dental and orthopedic applications, tissue engineered bioceramic scaffolds, protein-biomaterials interactions, and bone-biomaterials interactions.

In the area of implant surfaces, one of his research goals is to better understand the biological basis for successful orthopedic and dental implant therapy by elucidating the phenomena that govern osseointegration. Central to achieving this goal is the need to understand the mechanisms which control early responses of bone cells, both at implant surfaces and in the micro-environment associated with the cell-implant interface. In his laboratory, several coating processes are being investigated. The role of well-characterized HA and other calcium phosphates on early bone cell activity are also being investigated in vitro and in vivo. Their objectives are to systematically correlate the effect of HA surfaces of different crystallinity to dissolution, protein adsorption, and early maturation of bone cells in vitro and in vivo. It is their intention that our research will contribute to the development of an ideal implant surface for optimum osseointegration, thereby reducing implant failures which are expensive to patients in terms of implant cost, surgery cost, trauma and time.

In the area of tissue engineering, one of their research goals is to replace lost or missing tissues from the human body. Their research laboratory at UTSA is one of a few in the nation that focus on the use of calcium phosphates (CaP) ceramics, such as hydroxyapatite and tricalcium phosphate, to produce trabecular bone-like scaffolds for orthopedic and dental applications.

Rationales for the use of CaP ceramics stem from the fact that CaP is found in bones and teeth, and it shows promises of biocompatibility, osteoconductivity, and biodegradability. Their research on these scaffolds included alteration of composition and architecture, the production of nano-crystalline surface, and means to deliver growth factors and drugs. In addition, their laboratory evaluates the effects of external stimuli on bone formation and vascularization within the scaffolds in vitro and in vivo. Aside from translating the technology to the clinics, these researches also provide them with basic understandings of how tissues regenerate on 3-D scaffolds in order to persuade the body to heal or repair. Major advancements in this area have been made within their group and these scaffolds are currently being evaluated in animal models.

Selected Publications 

J Protivinsky, M Appleford, J Strnad, A Helebrant, JL Ong. Effect of chemically modified titanium surfaces on protein adsorption and osteoblast precursor cell behavior. International Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Implants (in press).

W Chen, S Oh, AP Ong, N Oh, Y Liu, HS Courtney, M Appleford, JL Ong. Anti-bacterial and osteogenic properties of silver- containing hydroxyapatite coatings produced using a sol gel process. Journal of Biomedical Materials Research (in press).

MR Appleford, S Oh, JA Cole, J Protivinsky, JL Ong. Ultrasound effects on osteoblast precursor cells in trabecular calcium phosphate scaffolds. Biomaterials (in press).

BC Chesnutt, Y Yuan, N Brahmandam, Y Yang, JL Ong, WO Haggard, JD Bumgardner. Characterization of biomimetic calcium phosphate on phosphorylated chitosan films. Journal of Biomedical Materials Research 2007, 82A:343-353.

MR Appleford, S Oh, JA Cole, DL Carnes, M Lee, JD. Bumgardner, WO Haggard, JL Ong. Effects of trabecular calcium phosphate scaffolds on stress-signaling in osteoblast precursor cells. Biomaterials 2007, 28:2747-2753.

JD Bumgardner, BM Chesnutt, Y Yuan, Y Yang, M Appleford, S Oh, R McLaughlin, SH Elder, JL Ong. The integration of chitosan-coated titanium in bone: An in vivo study in rabbits. Implant Dentistry 2007, 16:66-79.

N-S Oh, D-J Kim, JL Ong, H-Y Lee, K-W Lee. Properties and cyclic fatigue of glass infiltrated tape-cast alumina cores produced using a water-based solvent. Dental Materials 2007, 23:442-449.

CM Alves, Y Yang, DL Carnes, JL Ong, VL Sylvia, DD Dean, CM Agrawal, RL Reis. Modulating bone cells response onto starch-based biomaterials by surface plasma treatment and protein adsorption. Biomaterials 2007, 28:307-315.

W Chen, Y Liu, HS Courtney, M Bettenga, CM Agrawal, JD Bumgardner, JL Ong. In vitro anti-bacterial and biological properties of magnetron co-sputtered silver-containing hydroxyapatite coating. Biomaterials 2006, 27:5512-5517.

JL Ong, M Appleford, S Oh, Y Yang, W-H Chen, JD Bumgardner, WO Haggard. The characterization and development of bioactive hydroxyapatite coatings. Journal of the Minerals, Metals, and Materials 2006, 58:67-70.

Y Yang, N Oh, Y Liu, W Chen, S Oh, M Appleford, S Kim, K Kim, S Park, J Bumgardner, W Haggard, J Ong. Enhancement of osseointegration using surface modified titanium implant. Journal of the Minerals, Metals, and Materials 2006, 58:71-76.

A Rabiei, B Thomas, R Narayan, J Cuomo, Y Yang, JL Ong. A study on functionally graded HA coatings processed using ion beam assisted deposition with in-situ heat treatment. Surface and Coatings Technology 2006, 200:6111-6116.

Kyohan Kim, Tae-Yub Kwon, Shin-Yoon Kim, Inn-Kyu Kang, Sukyoung Kim, Yang Y, Ong JL. Preparation and characterization of anodized titanium surfaces and their effect on osteoblast response. Journal of Oral Implantology 2006; 32:8-13.

Y Zhao, G He, R Nie, X Deng, Z Liang, X Li, J Ong, Y Yang, Z Chen. Calcium phosphate coating over silk fibroin film by biomimetic methods. J Wuhan U of Technol - Mater Sci Ed 2005; 20 (Suppl): 92-9.

P Berube, Y Yang, D Carnes, R Stover, E Boland, JL Ong. The effect of sputtered calcium phosphate coatings of different crystallinity on osteoblast differentiation. Journal of Periodontology 2005; 76:1697-1703.

S Oh, E Tobin, Y Yang, D Carnes, JL Ong. In vivo evaluation of hydroxyapatite coating of different crystallinity. Journal of Oral Implantology 2005; 20:726-731.

CK You, XW Meng, TY Kwon, YZ Yang, SK Choi, KB Park, JL Ong, S Kim, and KH Kim. Development of hydroxyapatite thin film on titanium substrate by electrophoretic deposition. Key Engineering Materials 2005; 284-286:901-904.

Kern T, Y Yang, R Glover, JL Ong. Effect of heat-treated titanium surfaces on protein adsorption and osteoblast precursor cell initial attachment. Implant Dentistry 2005; 14:70-76.

Associate Dean of Administration, College of Engineering

USAA Foundation Distinguished Professor at UTSA

Adjunct Professor in Comprehensive Dentistry at UTHSCSA.  


B.S., University of Iowa

M.S., University of Alabama at Birmingham

Ph.D., University of Alabama at Birmingham



Phone: 210-458-7084