Traditional approaches to endodontic (root canal) treatment of teeth use mechanical rotary instruments (files) inside the root canals. Despite improvements in the design of these files over recent years, it is now recognised that they do not touch all the walls of the canals, and biofilms remain behind.

My group have been working on several parallel strategies to achieve and validate three dimensional cleaning processes within the root canal of teeth. These include using specially developed alkaline fluids, including those with potent antimicrobial activity, physical agitation of fluids using ultrasound and pulsed lasers, antimicrobial nanoparticles and nanoparticles with biofilm removal capabilities, and fluorescence validation systems for biofilm removal. Each element can be used alone or in combination with others. Specific projects around individual elements refine the approach and test it using biofilms of increasing complexity in extracted teeth.

Expected outcomes and deliverables: The student will gain first-hand experience working with laser systems and/or nanoparticles for removal of biofilms in the laboratory environment, and will be able to apply those concepts to other parallel problems in medicine and industry. They will learn to use a desktop scanning electron microscope, and undertake image analysis.

Suitable for: This project is suitable for candidates with backgrounds from engineering, chemistry, physics and microbiology, as well as dental graduates.

Please contact Professor Laurence Walsh or +61 7 336 58160 for further information about this area of research

Project members

Emeritus Professor Laurence Walsh

Emeritus Professor
School of Dentistry