The Nordic Institute of Dental Materials (NIOM) is committed to ensuring that dental biomaterials are safe and effective. A primary objective is to conduct comprehensive research on biomaterials, encompassing all types of dental materials, including ceramics, metal alloys, and polymers, as well as their applications in clinical dentistry. Given that research questions and materials often overlap with those in other fields of biomaterial research, NIOM can utilise expertise and equipment in areas beyond the dental field. Hence, this interdisciplinary approach also allows the institute to undertake projects involving medical biomaterials.

NIOM boasts a team of highly qualified researchers and research engineers, representing a wide range of disciplines such as toxicology, cell biology, microbiology, photobiology, and analytical chemistry. Clinical odontology is represented by prosthodontics, cariology, materials science, endodontics and dental technology, among others. This diverse expertise uniquely positions NIOM in the field of biomaterials. Currently, a permanent staff of 25 scientists and research engineers are working together with research fellows, visiting scientists, and in collaboration with researchers at universities, institutes, and public dental health services in the Nordic countries and worldwide.

Research collaboration

In addition to our researchers and engineers conducting their own research projects, the institute is open to various forms of collaborative projects. Guest researchers and other collaborators are an important part of the implementation of the research conducted at NIOM. Guest researchers are invited to attach project ideas or other research proposals when applying to come as guest researchers, ideas that can then be further developed in collaboration with our researchers (see also the section on "Visiting scientist").

In addition to guest researchers, we also welcome Nordic researchers and research students who are interested in conducting projects with the support of our expertise and advanced equipment available at the institute. We are open to various forms of research collaborations, where NIOM serves as a resource for Nordic universities, various actors within oral health care, and Nordic authorities and healthcare organisations.

NIOM has also an extensive experience in serving as a supervising resource for PhD students, who receive their main supervision from their own university but who need special competence or assistance with methods not available within their own organisation. As a project partner, NIOM finances its part of the collaboration, including equipment, while the researcher covers their own costs. Guest researchers are an exception since they receive salary and accommodation costs covered by NIOM.

The research organisation at NIOM

The research at NIOM is interdisciplinary, meaning that researchers from all disciplines contribute their unique knowledge to the planning of new projects. For practical reasons, the main responsibility for a project is then allocated to one of three research groups: 

  • Materials Science
  • Toxicology and microbiology
  • Clinical Group

Materials science

Research in materials science encompasses studies of physical and biological properties, material characterisation and optimisation of metals, ceramics, and polymer materials. The methods used range from tests according to international standards to the evaluation of the design of various dental reconstructions in terms of strength and aging under clinical use. This also includes compatibility tests for the materials used in laminates as well as adhesion related to the bond between tooth tissue and various dental materials. Additional research areas include the leakage of chemical substances from, for example, 3D-printed temporary or permanent reconstructions, as well as 3D printing of ceramic materials and studies on fit and wear. Studies on materials carrying photosensitisers for antimicrobial light-assisted applications are other examples.

Toxicology and microbiology

The primary focus of this research group is the safe use of biomaterials. We explore how oral biomaterials can affect patients by examining the response of both human and bacterial cells to biomaterials and how this, subsequently, affects the host-microbe interactions.
Our research, based on in vitro models, provides important insights into the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in the interactions between biomaterials and the complex environment of the oral cavity. The research outcomes make an excellent basis for recognising clinical challenges and for offering solutions.

Clinically oriented research group

The main agenda of this research group is to initiate and coordinate clinical and laboratory-based research in the field of dental biomaterials. We are involved in research collaborations within public dental care, both in Norway, Sweden, and other Nordic countries. Our research includes cooperation with the Norwegian Centers of Expertise in Oral Health, other institutes, professional research organisations, and educational institutions. Currently, NIOM is leading a research network group, with representatives from all dental research institutions in Norway, and has ongoing clinical research projects in collaboration with Malmö University and Region Skåne in Sweden.

You are welcome to ask questions about how NIOM can assist you with your research, research supervision, or if you have a project idea that you need help bringing to life.

Do you have any questions?

Per Vult von Steyern
Professor & CEO
Phone: +47 91 92 09 26