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Calcium phosphate nanoparticles to detect and treat dental caries

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  • Full or part time
    Dr M Thanou
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round

Project Description

This project comes as a result of recent collaboration between the Institute of Pharmaceutical Science and the Dental Institute of King's College London with Reminova. Both academia and company aim to commit to a PhD project that will enhance the training of a PhD student in the area of imaging and drug delivery in teeth.

Early data from the Thanou and Thompson labs indicate that teeth decay can be imaged using calcium phosphate nanoparticles (CPNP) that fluoresce at the near infrared using a camera device. The KCL team has designed novel calcium phosphate based nanoparticles that are practically unisized (50 nm in diameter) as observed by Atomic Force Microscopy. It appears that the method of preparation and the surface modification allows nanoparticle size control. These CPNP nanoparticles have been doped with fluorescent dyes such as FITC dextrans as well as Near Infrared dyes (cardiogreen). These CPNPs were allowed to diffuse through artificially formed porous enamel from extracted teeth and their fluorescent emission was assessed after washing steps. The CPNP appear to diffuse through artificially de-mineralised enamel allowing the labelling of early decay (caries). Reminova is a start up company that owns the technology of an advanced and rapid method of re-mineralisation of enamel, called Electrically Accelerated Enhanced Re-mineralization (EAER). This uses an electrical current of a few micro Amps ( a millionth of an Amp) that is too small to cause any physical sensation in the patient, to help accelerate mineral ions back into the enamel rebuilding the mineral levels to normal healthy levels. In this project the student will be investigating the effect of calcium phosphate nanoparticles on teeth re-mineralisation with and without EAER.

The project will be providing training to the student in the area of nanomedicine and in particular the preparation of CPNPs.

This four-year studentship is funded jointly by the BBSRC London Interdisciplinary PhD Programme and Reminova (iCASE). It covers UK/EU tuition fees and an annual tax-free stipend in the region of £16,057 (exact amount confirmed each year).

Applications will be considered from individuals with a background in life science and/or physical science (including pharmacy and dentistry). The equivalent of a first or upper second-class degree is essential. A postgraduate degree in a relevant subject would be desirable, and a demonstrable interest in bionanotechnology.

For more information regarding the project, please contact Dr Maya Thanou - maya.thanou@kcl.ac.uk
For more information about the programme, eligibility or the application process please contact the programme administrator - n.mogford@ucl.ac.uk

Funding Notes

UK/EU tuition fees and an annual tax-free stipend in the region of £16,057 (exact amount confirmed each year).

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