Selected ESR: Lukas Kriem
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Supervisor Name: Steffen Rupp, Ursula Schliessmann

Industrial Supervisors: Anju Brooker, Kevin Wright, Renzo Vasquez

Recruiting Organisation: Fraunhofer IGB, Stuttgart, Germany



Development of In-Vitro Oral Biofilm Models for screening surface modification and other Oral Care technologies


Grow in-vitro oral biofilm models that mimic in-vivo biofilm with different structural and compositional properties and how this can be used for tooth brush design



The Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology IGB develops and optimizes processes, products and technologies in the business fields of health, chemistry and process industry, as well as environment and energy. The Institute’s expertise lays specifically in the areas of physical process technology, environmental biotechnology and bioprocess engineering, cell and tissue engineering as well as molecular biotechnology.

In this PhD project, the main field of work is the area of oral microbiology. The idea is to get advanced knowledge of supra- and subgingival biofilms to better understand the source of oral diseases. Even though the supragingival part of the tooth and their microbiology has been readily researched on over the past decades it has just recently been found that most of the oral diseases have their origin in the subgingival area. Due to the specific environment in this subgingival area, a rather different biofilm can be found in comparison to the biofilm in the supragingival area. 

Some of the major differences found are the architecture and composition of the biofilm. For that reason the focus of this research is the development of different oral biofilm models to look at their architecture, composition and dynamics including some of the key organisms found in oral biofilms. With the addition of different technology and analysis components the goal is to develop a subgingival biofilm model in order to be able to test and compare different health care technologies in regards of removing subgingival biofilms from a surface.