Tooth-on-a-chip device enables better dental observation of cavities

December 23, 2019

Yet another organ-on-a-chip device – used in medical settings to gauge how a full organ might react to medication or toxins – has been developed by scientists at the Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU), US. This time, the world’s first tooth-on-a chip shows how a cavity in a tooth allows the entry of bacteria into the deeper layers of the tooth.

The tooth-on-a-chip device incorporates a tiny bit of dentin taken from a molar, placed between clear rubber slides. Microfluidic channels etched into the slides then introduce fluids which flow through that dentin – similar to how a cavity breaks the function of a tooth’s protective enamel; as seen through a microscope.

OHSU’s lead scientist, Associate Professor Luiz E. Bertassoni, said the device “opens up a new window into the complexity of dental care,” as dentists would easily be able to observe how different dental filling materials interacts with a particular tooth.

The technology could ultimately be used to develop batter cavity-filling or cavity-prevention solutions, thus significantly changing the norms of dentistry as we know today.


Category: Features, Technology & Devices

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