MADISON, Wis., Sept. 9 It is not pleasant to think about,but the small pipes and hoses that carry water to your mouth in dentists'offices can easily become contaminated. Bacterial fouling of dental unitwaterlines is dangerous when levels exceed the American Dental Association'srecommended maximum of 200 colony forming units per milliliter of water. Toensure safety, dental professionals must follow frequent maintenance andcleaning schedules, particularly after low-flow periods such as weekends orholidays when the water stagnates and bacterial biofilms can grow. TheNational Institutes of Health (NIH) recognize this risk, and have awardedNerites Corporation a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research grant todevelop anti-fouling coatings for dental waterlines.
Nerites technology provides a surface coating for the waterlines thatrepels cells and macromolecules. Bacteria are not able to attach, andtherefore cannot colonize to form biofilms. This new approach could eliminatethe need for routine decontamination of the waterlines, and dramaticallyreduce the risk of bacterial infection for dental patients and professionalswho come into contact with contaminated water.
"Copious amounts of water are used for rinsing and cooling in dentalprocedures, and bacterial biofilms can build up quickly if safety proceduresare not followed diligently," stated Nerites CEO Thomas Mozer. "The risk ofinfection is acute for dental patients with compromised immune systems due todisease or drug therapy. We believe that the Nerites anti-fouling coatingtechnology can be applied to dental waterlines with great effectiveness, andwe're appreciative that NIH selected us to continue this important work."
About Nerites: Nerites Corporation develops synthetic adhesives,sealants, and coatings for internal medical use. The hydrogel technology canbe used to close internal tears or incisions, to seal tissues and preventleakage and infection, and to affix synthetic or biologic medical devices.Properties can be "tuned" to fit each application. The technology wasdescribed with a cover article in the journal Nature (July, 2007) and waslabeled "one of the top 100 scientific developments of 2007" by DiscoverMagazine. (http://www.Nerites.com)
SOURCE Nerites Corporation