Nina Vyas

Doctoral Researcher
Physical Sciences of Imaging in the Biomedical Sciences CDT

Thesis project - "Imaging of clinical ultrasonic biofilm removal via micro-CT and ultrasound techniques"

Professor Damien Walmsley, School of Dentistry
Dr Rachel Sammons, School of Dentistry
Dr Hamid Dehghani, School of Computer Science
Professor Liam Grover, School of Chemical Engineering

This project will modify imaging techniques to optimise them for imaging biofilm disruption as well as ultrasonic scaler vibrations. This will be achieved through the construction of specialized experimental setups such as the addition of a high speed camera to a scanning laser vibrometer to image ultrasonic tip vibrations and microstreaming, and the construction of a custom 3D ultrasound imaging system specialised for imaging oral biofilm. Imaging probes such as targeted microbubbles will also be developed to improve the resolution of 3D ultrasound.

We intend to generate biomaterials to represent dental plaque, and develop contrast enhancing techniques for these materials optimised for various imaging techniques such as microCT and confocal microscopy.   This will also require development of computational algorithms to improve image processing, e.g. improve imaging of hard and soft tissue (enamel and biofilm) in microCT.  

The results from imaging the biofilm removal will be compared to the results from imaging tip vibrations to find a link between the areas of most biofilm removal and areas of most cavitation/micro streaming to provide new insights into exactly how ultrasonic scalers remove biofilm, which will eventually lead to improved ultrasonic scaler tip design.