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iCASE Projects

Applications for the MRC DTP iCASE studentships September 2018 Entry are now closed.

September 2018 Entry

All iCASE projects are available as a straight 4 year PhD. Applicants may apply for one project only. You may contact project supervisors for further information about project opportunities. This does not commit a candidate to these laboratories. View the iCASE projects available for September 2018 entry below.

Co-supervisor 1A: Professor David Bartlett

Email: david.bartlett@kcl.ac.uk

Website: https://kclpure.kcl.ac.uk/portal/david.bartlett.html

Co-supervisor 1B: Dr. Rupert Austin

Email: Rupert.s.austin@kcl.ac.uk

Website: https://kclpure.kcl.ac.uk/portal/rupert.s.austin.html

Partner Details: GSK Consumer Healthcare

Project Description:

UK pharmaceutical industry sales of tooth brush and toothpaste were at least £713m in 2013 and this is estimated to have increased by 22% by 2018. The efficacy of oral products for prevention of dental decay and gum disease has been extensive and successful in reducing these diseases world-wide. However, severe tooth wear is increasing globally and today tooth wear is one of the main causes of poor oral health in the UK. Despite extensive academic and industry research, it has not been possible to measure the effect of oral care products on tooth wear progression in the mouth. Evaluating efficacy of products relies on surrogate measurement using extracted teeth in the laboratory or tooth sections mounted in oral appliances. The main challenge of measuring tooth wear is that the oral environment is constantly changing and teeth have complex surfaces. The innovation of this PhD is to expand the use of surface-matching software, comparing digital maps of teeth, to measure clinical changes of enamel loss. Building on over 20 years of research at a world-leading institution and with the research and experience from GSK, this PhD project will validate a custom-built surface-matching software with lab-based highly accurate laser scanners to measure wear on natural enamel surfaces. The measurement software in the laboratory will be applied and tested on chairside clinical scanners used to scan teeth and mouths for dental treatment. Completion of this PhD will train the applicant in high-precision imaging and measurement, chemical analysis, software development, the use of imaging techniques to address real-world problems and foster expertise for a career in industry or academia. This brings together experience from industry and universities to provide a unique experience for a PhD student.

The objectives are:

  1. To adapt and validate surface-matching software techniques for use with intraoral scanning to measure natural enamel surfaces.
  2. To determine the limits of accuracy and resolution of the imaging systems. What is the smallest amount of clinical wear that will need to occur before it can be reliably measured?
  3. To assess the impact of saliva on the measurement of the surface.
  4. To compare the efficacy of oral care products on natural surfaces in vitro in preparation for in vivo testing.

Confocal laser scanning microscopy and area-scale analysis used to quantify enamel surface textural changes from citric acid demineralisation and salivary remineralisation in vitro. Austin R, Moazzez R, Giusca C, Bartlett D. Dental Materials 2016; 32:278-284.

Measurement uncertainty associated with chromatic confocal profilometry for 3D surface texture characterization of natural human enamel. Mullan, F., Bartlett, D. W. & Austin, R. S. Dental Materials 2017,33:273-281.

When choosing an iCASE project from those available for September 2018 Entry, in the funding section of the online application from please enter the funding code ‘MRCDTP2018_’ followed bu the project number that corresponds to yourchosen project e.g:


Deadline for applications: Monday 5th March, 23:59shortlisted candidates will be contacted in mid-March.

Interviews: Tuesday 27th March (PM) –  iCASE studentships will commence in September 2018. For further information please visit our application support page or contact mrc-dtp@kcl.ac.uk.

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