Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Safe decay detector developed by dentists and textile experts


Tooth decay could soon be detected without resorting to potentially harmful X-rays - by using a novel electrical technique developed by dental researchers at the University of Dundee in an unusual partnership with textile experts at Heriot Watt University.

Laboratory tests show the device, which measures the electrical resistance of teeth, is twice as accurate as current examination techniques and detects decay in its earliest stages when preventive treatment is still possible.

Known as ACIST - which stands for AC impedance spectroscopy technique -the device has been developed by the Dundee team together with colleagues in St Andrews University. The sensor, which was patented in 1996, is being developed in collaboration with textile specialists at Heriot Watt University.

The Dundee and Heriot Watt teams learned yesterday they have been awarded £139,500 funding by Scottish Enterprise through the Proof of Concept Fund, to develop a prototype probe for testing. If successful it could be in the market place in two years.

The concept exploits the change in the nature of the tooth as it decays. As caries progresses microscopic pores develop in the tooth which fill with fluid that conducts current. By applying an electrically conductive strip to the tooth and passing a small electrical current through it,
dentists can use the amount of resistance to the charge as a gauge of whether there is any decay.

Principal investigator Dr Chris Longbottom: "The technique is expected to be faster, safer and more accurate than X-rays which is good news for patients, dentists and the health service where it has cost-saving implications. By picking up the disease at an early stage it will also be
possible in many cases to stop or even to reverse the decay thus saving more teeth."

The plastic sensor used to measure the electrical resistance is being developed by Heriot Watt`s school of textiles in Galashiels who are working on a special polymer that could be inserted between the teeth like a wider type of dental floss.

The information from the sensor is fed to the electrical device and could be used by dentists instead of a traditional X-ray.

Once complete the probe will be clinically tested and assessed by dental researchers and, if successful, it could be taken to the commercial stage.

Dr Longbottom welcomed the funding award: "This funding will allow us to take an original concept which works in the laboratory and test its true potential in prototype as a first step towards possible commercialisation.

Caroline Petrie | alphagalileo
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia
21.10.2016 | Universitätsklinikum Magdeburg

nachricht New potential cancer treatment using microwaves to target deep tumors
12.10.2016 | University of Texas at Arlington

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>