Researchers in Coimbra want to fight bacterial plaque

A new technology based on a natural organic molecule, which prevents the formation of bacterial plaque and other dental pathologies, was created by researchers from the University of Coimbra (UC), was announced today.

A multidisciplinary team of the Faculties of Science and Technology (FCUC) and of Medicine (FMUC) of UC “has developed a new technology, based on a natural organic molecule, that prevents the formation of bacterial plaque”, that is “the main responsible for the emergence of caries and other dental conditions, “says the FCTUC.

The new method, called ‘biolocker’, should reach the market “within two years” and this “will represent a paradigm shift in oral hygiene, preventing the early formation of plaque without antimicrobial effects, unlike oral care solutions classic, “stresses FCTUC.

The traditional antiseptics are broad spectrum and therefore resort to a “burnt land” strategy, eliminating good and bad bacteria, which can damage resident oral flora, which is extremely beneficial to the general health of the body “.

The great innovation of this “anti-plaque” technology, in the process of international patent registration, “is in the capacity to block the main bacterial interactions that occur after the ingestion of food, that is, it prevents the action of the bacteria that lead the process of plaque formation, the so-called initial colonizers, “said researchers Daniel Abegão, Filipe Antunes and Sérgio Matos, quoted by FCTUC.

“As these bacteria (streptococcus genus) act as a foundation, removing the anchor prevents all downstream bacteria from attaching themselves,” the two experts point out.

It can be said that the technology developed by UC researchers functions as a kind of non-stick coating, preventing bacteria from clinging to dental enamel and forming plaque, explains the FCTUC.

This new method “guarantees protection for a lot more time, all day long, complementing the effectiveness of brushing, supplanting the limitations of current oral hygiene products”, emphasize the specialists of the Faculties of Science and Medicine of Coimbra.

In terms of oral health, or even in a public health policy perspective, stresses Sérgio Matos, a dentist and professor at FMUC, the great asset of biolocker is the extraordinary contribution to the prevention of dental problems ” through mass technology and cheap, the population will have access to better oral hygiene. ”

“In Portugal, oral health is mostly provided by private care and, therefore, very expensive. The most effective way of combating all pathologies of the oral cavity is through prevention, reducing costs with treatments,” says Sérgio Matos.

Taking into account that “caries and gum disease are the most prevalent infectious diseases in the world, the development of preventive tools is essential,” says the researcher.

Another advantage of this approach, whose principle of action has already been tested and validated, is its versatility, and can be “incorporated into toothpaste, elixirs, dental floss or even chewing gum,” said Daniel Abegão and Filipe Antunes.

The project was supported by I3S (Institute of Research and Innovation in Health) of the University of Porto and was the only Portuguese winner of the third edition of the Caixa Impulse Program, worth 70 thousand euros.

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