Teaming up to get teeth into project

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A PARTNERSHIP between Yorkshire academics and a Swiss company could help to free millions of people from the agony of toothache.

The Medical Technologies Innovation and Knowledge Centre (IKC) at the University of Leeds has secured £1m to develop technology that might revolutionise dentistry.

The investment will support a collaborative project between University of Leeds researchers and the Swiss spin-out company credentis to develop a treatment that can reverse early-stage tooth decay.

The IKC, which is funded by a number of UK-based research councils, has contributed more than £400,000, while the rest of the cash has been contributed by credentis.

The technology – dubbed Filling without Drilling – is based on a peptide fluid that is painted on to the tooth. The fluid seeps into the pores of early-stage lesions where it imitates the conditions that occur during normal tooth development.

This allows the tooth to repair itself naturally, using calcium ions that are already present. The Filling without Drilling technology was licensed to credentis in 2010.

The new investment will support further development, leading to full commercialisation of the product.

The research will be led from the University of Leeds by Professor Jennifer Kirkham and Dr Amalia Aggeli.

“The extra funding of more than £1m will really make a difference to developing products that will benefit our society,” said Professor Kirkham.