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Influence of Repeated Microspray Exposure on Community Development in an Oral Biofilm Model Sponsored by PHILIPS ORAL HEALTHCARE 


Dental biofilm plaques are responsible for caries and periodontal disease progressing from gingivitis to periodontitis if biofilm growth is not controlled through daily oral healthcare and routine professional cleaning. Dental plaque is a complex community of microorganisms behaves like an ecosystem that changes and develops over time. As the biofilm matures, it becomes anoxic, which promotes pathogenic anaerobic bacteria that produce proteases and toxins that lead to chronic inflammation. Dental plaque also contain a sticky extracellular polymeric slime (EPS) matrix that protects bacteria from host immune and defense responses and makes their mechanical removal challenging. Even with regular daily dental hygiene regimens, biofilms can remain in hard to reach places, such as the interproximal (IP) spaces between the teeth. Water jets and sprays have been used in an attempt to better remove IP biofilms. Recently we have discovered that very high velocity air and microsprays can effectively remove biofilm from the immediate “impact” area and cause remaining biofilm in adjacent areas to rapidly flow over surfaces, essentially mixing the biofilm up. This flow can explain the increased mixing of microbeads into the remaining biofilm and the more effective killing of bacterial cells deeper in the biofilm by antimicrobial dentifrices. It is also likely that the disruption to the biofilm will have an additional therapeutic effect of disrupting anaerobic and acidic regions thus shifting the microbes from a pathogenic community to a more benign commensal community. In this project we will test this hypothesis by subjecting biofilms grown from human dental plaque to repeated exposure to high velocity microsprays over extended periods and track the changes to the community using 16S rRNA gene phylogenetic analysis. In addition we will assess the influence of the sprays on the oxygen and pH concentrations at the base of the biofilms using microelectrodes and planar optrodes in collaboration with Dr. Dirk DeBeer of the Max Planck institute for Marine Microbiology in Bremen.​


Posted on 19-Dec-16 by Decot, Jacob
Tags: Grants
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