PhD Studentship in Nanostructured Biomaterials
University of Bristol – School of Oral & Dental Sciences
Tooth decay, or caries, is a common health complaint. Caries occurs due to infection of the tooth and surrounding area by bacteria. Current treatment methods for caries require the removal of diseased tooth tissue, and replacement with dental biomaterials, a “filling”.
Fillings account for around half of all NHS Clinical Treatment Items in dentistry. The dental biomaterials available at present all have their advantages and disadvantages, but despite a number of efforts, nobody has yet developed a dental biomaterials which has an effective and sustained antimicrobial effect.
A material which provides a lasting and effective antimicrobial environment in the area immediately surrounding the filling could significantly reduce the incidence of secondary caries, reducing the cost and time associated with repeated dental treatments.
New advances in nanotechnology offer novel approaches to the design of such a dental biomaterial. We have developed antimicrobial nanoparticles which we believe can be incorporated into dental filling materials called glass ionomer cements. These materials already have lots of other benefits, including a natural, tooth-like appearance and the ability to adhere to the remaining, healthy tooth tissue.
The aim of this project is to create glass ionomer cements containing antimicrobial nanoparticles and to test their efficacy in preventing dental caries, in the laboratory. It is a very interdisciplinary project and will appeal to a student who has a broad range of interests and wishes to span traditional academic boundaries, not be constrained by them. It is also an opportunity for a physical scientist to work on a project that could make a real difference to many patients’ lives in the future.
The successful candidate will have a first or upper second class degree in chemistry, physics, engineering or a related field. The project is funded by the Medical Research Council and provides fees, money for travel, conferences and consumables and the standard research council stipend in the region of £13590. The project will be carried out in close cooperation with a dental materials manufacturer. The student will spend some time working in the manufacturer’s laboratories in Swindon and will gain a real insight into industrial research and development.
Due to funding restrictions this studentship is only available to UK/EU students.
For further information please contact:
Dr Michele Barbour, Lecturer in Biomaterials, firstname.lastname@example.org
Applications should be made through the University of Bristol’s online system at:
Closing date for applications: 1st April 2011