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Exploring oral interfaces gets researchers talking


Researchers from around the world gathered for this year’s Biofilms – Research Center for Biointerfaces' Annual Conference to get their teeth into the subject matter of oral interfaces.

In total, around 90 academics and industry representatives gathered for the two-day event hosted by the Malmö University’s research centre which specialises in biointerfaces. Speakers and guests from the USA, UK, Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland and Sweden were in attendance.

Oral interfaces is an area in which the research centre carries out extensive research and during the conference professors,  associate professors, post docs and a PhD student spoke and presented. Their presentations covered different aspects of oral interfaces, such as biotherapeutics of polymicrobial infections, failure of oral implants and the role of saliva on dental erosion.

The keynote speaker was Professor Philip Marsh, Professor of Oral Microbiology, University of Leeds.

Philip Marsh

“One of my interests is to understand the relationship between our natural oral organisms that we all have and how this promotes our health, but also how this relationship can break down and we can develop disease, such as caries or periodontal disease.

 “Conferences like this, particularly ones which are smaller and have opportunities to network, allow you to create new relationships and new potential collaborations. Also, conferences like this are working at a multidisclinary level, so you get people from a variety of backgrounds,” he said.

Researching the delivery of treatments, Professor Marianne Hiorth from the University of Oslo, praised the conference for its multidisciplinary nature.

Marianne Hiorth

“I am trying to prepare nanoparticles which should improve the world’s oral health. When you are giving medicines, which are going to work locally in the oral cavity, it is a great challenge that saliva is flushing and washing away all foreign substances. You have to prepare nanoparticles, which can stick either to the oral mucosa or to the teeth, so they have to be bioadhesive. We are trying to tune the properties of the particles to give them bioadhesive properties.

“It would be beneficial for the patient because if you can have the particles in the mouth the dose could be much lower because it can act longer and that would reduce side effects. It could be used to treat such things as dry mouth — which is extremely painful — fungal infections or dental caries.

"I am very impressed with the conference; it is a very nice gathering of different people from different places. It’s been great.”

Professor Gordon Proctor, King's College London Dental Institute spoke about saliva and oral surfaces.

Gordon Proctor

“My research is on saliva and salivary glands; this is a conference about interfaces and saliva is a fluid that is at the interfaces of the surfaces in the mouth. It is a very important fluid for all sorts of oral functions: lubrication, preventing teeth from

“What I have found is that in patients with chronic dryness this viscoelasticity is reduced. For people who have severe dryness, which is often associated with certain diseases, it can have a great impact on their lives. When saliva is reduced people find it difficult to eat food, speak and this impacts greatly on their quality of life.”

Text: Adrian Grist

Last updated by Adrian Grist