Atomic force microscopy studies of bacterial interactions involved in dental caries

Project description

Project Summary

Dental caries is caused by processes occurring within the biofilm (plaque) that builds up on teeth and which is not always removed during routine brushing. While there are a wide variety of bacterial species within plaque, tooth decay is thought to be caused principally by species which produce high levels of lactic acid during processing of dietary sugars, such as Streptococcus mutans and lactobacilli. Not only does the ability to ferment sugars to produce acid result in acidic environments that promote enamel dissolution, but they promote extracellular polysaccharide production and increased bacterial adhesion to surfaces and to each other.

Aims and Objectives

Atomic force microscopy (AFM) has the ability to image bacterial cell surfaces at high resolution and measure forces between surfaces. This project will involve a combination of in situ AFM imaging and force measurements on these species in controlled environments including those with sugar present and at varied pH to gain greater insight into the bacterial interactions triggering caries. Data will be acquired on cellular mechanics, cell surface morphology and adhesion forces with enamel surfaces to see how the bacteria respond to their environment.

Entry requirements

Please contact our staff for further details about entry requirements

How to apply (email)

How to apply (phone)

+44 (0)113 343 7497