Million pound boost for periodontal disease research

A consortium including dental researchers John Taylor and Philip Preshaw has secured £1.3 million of funding to develop nanobiosensors for the detection and monitoring of periodontal (gum) disease. Speaking after the award, Dr Taylor and Prof Preshaw remarked that ‘The project is an excellent example of translational biomedical research which will not only deliver new technology for patient benefit, but will also generate important information about the molecular biological processes which underpin chronic inflammatory diseases.’ ‘The devices will be tested  in real-life situations, by dentists and their patients in order to detect gum disease, and to monitor improvement of the condition as it is treated.  Savings to the NHS could run into millions of pounds, and help the oral health of  a significant proportion of the population.’The potential benefits are considerable and underpin the commitment of the government-backed Technology Strategy Board and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to the support of science for real-life situations. The collaboration will bring together the Institute of Cellular Medicine (ICM) & Centre for Oral Health Research (COHR) with OJ-Bio, a company created to develop a new generation of hand-held, real-time diagnostic devices that combine biotechnology processes with electronics manufacturing and the UK biotechnology company Orla Protein Technologies and the major electronics company Japan Radio Co. Ltd (JRC). 
OJ-Bio had already performed an initial study for the Technology Strategy Board, which demonstrated the feasibility of a nanobiosensor device for the detection of proteins called matrix metalloproteinases, which are involved in a variety of diseases. 
Dr. Dale Athey, CEO of OJ-Bio, said: “This funding is a great boost for the development of our technology in new application areas; it allows us to work with key experts in the field in an area of compelling need.  As well as gum disease, we are also developing products to detect respiratory viruses such as flu, and markers of other diseases.”

published on: 13th June 2012