Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Safe decay detector developed by dentists and textile experts

20.03.2002


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:
http://dundee.ac.uk/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Purdue cancer identity technology makes it easier to find a tumor's 'address'
16.11.2018 | Purdue University

nachricht Microgel powder fights infection and helps wounds heal
14.11.2018 | Michigan Technological University

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: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Optical Coherence Tomography: German-Japanese Research Alliance hosted Medical Imaging Conference

19.11.2018 | Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

New materials: Growing polymer pelts

19.11.2018 | Materials Sciences

Earthquake researchers finalists for supercomputing prize

19.11.2018 | Information Technology

Controlling organ growth with light

19.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>