Becoming a cutting-edge, worldly researcher with the MDRCBB

Headshot of Xin Du on a School of Dentistry branded background

Xin Du, DDS, is bringing expertise in orthodontia and digital dentistry to the University of Minnesota–and gaining cultural and scientific knowledge for herself. 

Du is a part of the Minnesota Dental Research Center for Biomaterials and Biomechanics and 3MGives’s Key Opinion Leaders program. Key Opinion Leaders (KOL) invites scholars from developing countries to join the MDRCBB and carry out studies related to their own interests while also shadowing clinical faculty, learning new skills through the technology and resources available at the MDRCBB, visiting industry leaders and participating in conferences. The program began with a gift from 3MGives in 2016 and invites scholars from throughout the world. 

Du joined the MDRCBB in September 2022 from China, where she received her orthodontic DDS at Nanchang University and continued exploring digital dentistry at Peking University. Her research centers on digital dentistry and biomechanics in orthodontics. 

“Specifically, with the assistance of digital dentistry technology, studying the biomechanical properties of different orthodontic materials can help us design and adjust the force and direction of orthodontic appliances, thereby achieving the accuracy and precision of orthodontic treatment planning and execution,” she said. 

With Du’s strong interest in how digital technology can transform orthodontia, studying at the MDRCBB was the perfect choice to enhance her career further. “3M Corporation is driven by technological innovation, and its innovative research and development teams, especially in the field of dental materials, have a high reputation and a wide influence,” she explained. Moreover, coming to the United States to study would expose Du to “a variety of people, different cultures and different treatment methods, which will further help me develop into a professional dentist who can accustom myself to various environments and societies.” 

Du’s experience as a Key Opinion Leader has been transformational, both for her research and for her personal life. “I have made many friends from all around the world, who have not only helped me improve my research skills, but also enriched my lifestyle and expanded my way of thinking,” she explained. “Additionally, I have had access to outstanding, cutting-edge experimental equipment and materials, which has helped me establish a solid theoretical foundation for my future research.” 

Du has particularly appreciated the access to high-quality equipment that allows her to take her research to the next level. “This has helped me deploy my talent on the cutting edge of science, and learn the best practice trends in the world,” she said. “I will continue to plunge into the biomaterials and biomechanics of dental research beneficial to orthodontic development in the future.

Most importantly, though, the program has made Du a better researcher, a better clinician and a better global citizen. 

“The program is truly amazing,” she said. “The world is a global community, and friendly exchange is needed both in science and culture. 3M and the University of Minnesota have created a wonderful platform for communication and learning, where scholars from around the world can showcase themselves, explore greater potential and contribute to the development of oral health.”