Anson Ong, Ph.D.

Senior Associate Dean of Administration and Graduate Programs, Biomedical Engineering & Chemical Engineering

Anson Ong


Description of Research:

My 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 our 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 our 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. Our 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 our 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 our research goals is to replace lost or missing tissues from the human body. Our 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. Our 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, our 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 us 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 our group and these scaffolds are currently being evaluated in animal models.


  • Biomaterials
  • Dental Biomaterials
  • Research in Biomedical Engineering
  • Materials Characterization

Research Interests


  • Tissue Engineering
  • Surface Modification
  • Implants
  • Materials Characterization
  • In vitro cell culture studies
  • In vivo animal studies


  • Tissue Eng. Scaffolds
  • Dental Implants
  • Orthopedic Implants


  • B.S., University of Iowa
  • M.S., University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • Ph.D., University of Alabama at Birmingham

Honors and Awards


Grants, Patents and Clinical Trials