q&more
My watch list
my.chemie.de  
Login  

News

Chewing gum rapid test for inflammation

Chewing gum to screen for oral inflammation

Uni Würzburg

Researchers from the University of Würzburg are working on a chewing gum that is capable of detecting oral inflammation.

17-Aug-2017: Dental implants occasionally entail complications: Six to fifteen percent of patients develop an inflammatory response in the years after receiving a dental implant. This is caused by bacteria destroying the soft tissue and the bone around the implant in the worst case.

In future, patients will benefit from a quick and affordable method assessing whether they carry such bacteria: using a chewing gum based diagnostic test developed by a pharmaceutical research team at the Julius-Maximilians-Universität (JMU) Würzburg in Bavaria, Germany.

In practice, the test works as follows: If there is an inflammation in the oral cavity, a bittering agent is released while chewing the gum. Patients can then visit their dentist who confirms the diagnosis and treats the disease. This type of early detection aims at preventing serious complications such as bone loss.

"Anyone can use this new diagnostic tool anywhere and anytime without any technical equipment," Professor Lorenz Meinel says; he is the head of the JMU Chair for Drug Formulation and Delivery. He developed the new diagnostic tool with Dr. Jennifer Ritzer and her team; the invention is currently featured in an article in the journal "Nature Communication".

Enzymes release bitter taste

The scientific background: In the presence of inflammatory conditions, specific protein-degrading enzymes are activated in the mouth. In just five minutes, these enzymes also break down a special ingredient of the chewing gum, thereby releasing a bittering agent that could not be tasted before.

Meinel's team provided the proof that this principle actually works. First studies using the saliva of patients were conducted at Merli Dental Clinic in Rimini.

Company establishment planned

To launch the chewing gum into the market, Meinel's team plans to set up a company. The professor assumes that it will take two to three years until the gum is commercially available.

Chewing gum rapid tests for other medical applications are presently under development. "We hope to be able to diagnose other diseases with our “anyone, anywhere, anytime” diagnostics to identify and adress these diseases as early as possible," Meinel explains.

Original publication:
“Diagnosing peri-implant disease targeting the tongue as 24/7 detector”; Nature Communications, 15. August 2017

Facts, background information, dossiers

  • chewing gum
  • inflammation
  • diagnostics
  • rapid tests

More about Uni Würzburg

  • News

    A Step Ahead in Pharmaceutical Research

    Hormones and other neurotransmitters, but also drugs, act upon receptors. “Their active substances bind to the receptors and modify the three-dimensional receptor arrangement regulating the downstream signal pathways,” says Hannes Schihada from the Institute for Pharmacology and Toxicology ... more

    New technology for enzyme design

    Scientists at the University of Würzburg have chemically modified the enzyme levansucrase using a new method. The enzyme can now produce sugar polymers that are exciting for applications in the food industry and medicine. Enzymes are tools of nature that accelerate almost all biochemical r ... more

    Stagediving with biomolecules improves optical microscopy

    Physicists from Dresden and Würzburg have developed a novel method for optical microscopy. Using biological motors and single quantum dots, they acquire ultra-high-resolution images. The resolution of conventional optical microscopy is limited by the fundamental physical principle of diffr ... more

  • q&more articles

    High-tech in the beehive

    Healthy honeybee colonies are crucial to maintaining the natural diversity of flowering plants and the global production of plant-derived foodstuffs. As much as 35 % of this production depends on insect-based pollination, in which the honeybee (Apis mellifera) plays a leading role. For fund ... more

  • Authors

    Prof. Dr. Jürgen Tautz

    studied biology, geography and physics at the University of Konstanz before receiving his doctorate from the University on an ecology-related subject. Work in insect, fish and frog bio-acoustics was followed by his foundation of the BEEgroup at the University of Würzburg in 1994, a group th ... more

  • Videos

    High-tech in the beehive

    more

q&more – the networking platform for quality excellence in lab and process

The q&more concept is to increase the visibility of recent research and innovative solutions, and support the exchange of knowledge. In the broad spectrum of subjects covered, the focus is on achieving maximum quality in highly innovative sectors. As a modern knowledge platform, q&more offers market participants one-of-a-kind networking opportunities. Cutting-edge research is presented by authors of international repute. Attractively presented in a high-quality context, and published in German and English, the original articles introduce new concepts and highlight unconventional solution strategies.

> more about q&more

q&more is supported by:



Your browser is not current. Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 does not support some functions on Chemie.DE