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Atomic force microscopy studies of bacterial interactions involved in dental caries


Key facts

Type of research degree
Application deadline
Ongoing deadline
Country eligibility
International (open to all nationalities, including the UK)
Professor Deirdre Devine
School of Dentistry
<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Summary</h2>

Dental caries is caused by processes occurring within the biofilm (plaque) that builds up on teeth and which is not always removed during routine brushing. While there are a wide variety of bacterial species within plaque, tooth decay is thought to be caused principally by species which produce high levels of lactic acid during processing of dietary sugars, such as Streptococcus mutans and lactobacilli. Not only does the ability to ferment sugars to produce acid result in acidic environments that promote enamel dissolution, but they promote extracellular polysaccharide production and increased bacterial adhesion to surfaces and to each other.

<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Full description</h2>

<p>Atomic force microscopy (AFM) has the ability to image bacterial cell surfaces at high resolution and measure forces between surfaces. This project will involve a combination of in situ AFM imaging and force measurements on these species in controlled environments including those with sugar present and at varied pH to gain greater insight into the bacterial interactions triggering caries. Data will be acquired on cellular mechanics, cell surface morphology and adhesion forces with enamel surfaces to see how the bacteria respond to their environment.</p>

<h2 class="heading">How to apply</h2>

<p>Applications can be made at any time. To apply for this project applicants should complete a<a href=""> Faculty Application Form</a> and send this alongside a full academic CV, degree transcripts (or marks so far if still studying) and degree certificates to the Faculty Graduate School <a href=""></a>.</p> <p>We also require 2 academic references to support your application. Please ask your referees to send these <a href="">references</a> on your behalf, directly to <a href=""></a></p> <p>If you have already applied for other projects using the Faculty Application Form this academic session you do not need to complete this form again. Instead you should email <a href=""></a> to inform us you would like to be considered for this project.</p> <p>If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the University&#39;s minimum English language requirements (below).</p> <p><em>As an international research-intensive university, we welcome students from all walks of life and from across the world. We foster an inclusive environment where all can flourish and prosper, and we are proud of our strong commitment to student education. Across all Faculties we are dedicated to diversifying our community and we welcome the unique contributions that individuals can bring, and particularly encourage applications from, but not limited to Black, Asian, people who belong to a minority ethnic community, people who identify as LGBT+ and people with disabilities. Applicants will always be selected based on merit and ability.</em></p>

<h2 class="heading heading--sm">Entry requirements</h2>

A degree in biological sciences, dentistry, medicine, midwifery, nursing, psychology or a good honours degree in a subject relevant to the research topic. A Masters degree in a relevant subject may also be required in some areas of the Faculty. For entry requirements for all other research degrees we offer, please contact us.

<h2 class="heading heading--sm">English language requirements</h2>

Applicants whose first language is not English must provide evidence that their English language is sufficient to meet the specific demands of their study. The Faculty of Medicine and Health minimum requirements in IELTS and TOEFL tests for PhD, MSc, MPhil, MD are: &acirc;&euro;&cent; British Council IELTS - score of 6.5 overall, with no element less than 6.0 &acirc;&euro;&cent; TOEFL iBT - overall score of 92 with the listening and reading element no less than 21, writing element no less than 22 and the speaking element no less than 23.

<h2 class="heading">Contact details</h2>

<p>For further information please contact the Graduate School Office<br /> e: <a href=""></a>, t: +44 (0)113 343 8221.</p>