A project looking into utilising ultrasound in surgery. Supported by a programme grant from EPSRC for over £6m in funding, Ultrasurge will last 5 years and look into a series of interrelated themes around the effect of ultrasound on tissue, the miniaturisation of ultrasound transducers, and using external robots to direct ultrasound tipped robot tentacles to the surgery site within the body. (EP/R045291/1)
The programme is led by Prof Margaret Lucas at the University of Glasgow with teams based at the Universities of Birmingham, Edinburgh, Leeds and Southampton.
The Investigator team:
- Margaret Lucas, Professor of Ultrasonics, University of Glasgow
- Sandy Cochran, Professor of Ultrasound Materials and Systems, University of Glasgow
- Fabrice Pierron, Professor of Solid Mechanics, University of Southampton
- Hamish Simpson, Professor of Orthopaedics and Trauma, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, University of Edinburgh
- Pietro Valdastri, Professor of Robotics and Autonomous Systems, University of Leeds
- Damien Walmsley, Professor of Restorative Dentistry, University of Birmingham
- Dick Shelton, Senior Lecturer and Head of Biomaterials Unit, University of Birmingham
- Ben Scheven, Senior Lecturer in Oral Cell Biology
ßDental implants are an exciting procedure which replaces a patient's lost teeth. However, bacteria in the mouth will grow on the metal surface leading to gum disease. If not removed it will lead to loss of this expensive treatment. It is a huge worldwide problem and currently no methods exist that remove the bacteria effectively. Ultrasonic scalers are an everyday instrument used by dentists to clean teeth. The vibrating metal probe generates bubble activity when used with water. This bubble activity is termed cavitation and could be used to vigorously scrub the implant surface removing the bacteria. Our previous work shows that the bubble activity can work but it is too slow for clinical use. Clinicians like this idea but want it to work quickly and effectively. To solve current and major problem associated with cleaning of implant surfaces, we have brought together a unique team of dentists and mathematicians which we have called "DENTaMATHics". We have planned new designs or improvements to the current ultrasound scaler: to improve the tip shape and operation conditions, to implement cavitation prone liquids, and to implement a shield-cover design to a scaler tip. (EPSRC EP/P015743/1)
SONATA (UltraSOuNd-controlled release of Antimicrobial agents for localised Treatment of dentAl tissues)
Our goal and vision is to develop a novel platform for temporal and spatial control of drug release from silica particles (SP). This will be triggered by ultrasound, allowing the SP to reach and disrupt dental biofilms in inaccessible sites. We have assembled a multidisciplinary team with expertise in inorganic chemistry, dentistry and fluid mechanics. The team will determine the optimal conditions for ultrasound activation and delivery of novel SP in sophisticated endodontic model structures, biofilms and explanted teeth using advanced flow characterisation and imaging. We will validate this approach with clinically applied ultrasound probes in dentistry and will accelerate this development in dental practice with industry and dental partners. Our research aims to tackle problems in dental healthcare but a wider impact towards translation into other areas is envisioned, in alignment with UKRI Healthcare Technology Grand Challenge of Developing Future Therapies.