Advanced dev of the constant depth film fermenter towards optimised biofilm modelling and development of functional insights of biofilm communities

Lead Research Organisation: University of Liverpool
Department Name: Health Services Research


The oral cavity is highly populated with bacterial species, and around 700 oral bacterial species have been identified. Dental plaque is related to the aetiology of two of the most prevalent disease: caries and periodontal diseases. According to the ecological plaque hypothesis not only one or few bacterial species, but the disturbance of the symbiotic interactions between the host and the resident oral microbiota, as well as the microbial homeostasis are responsible for the occurrence of oral infections. Therefore, constant mechanical removal and improved oral hygiene are essential to prevent the occurrence of oral infections.
The School of Dentistry at the University of Liverpool has unique expertise in the use of the constant-depth film fermenter (CDFF) model which combines the complexity of a physiologically relevant multispecies biofilm with a simulation of the abrasion and flow dynamics present in the mouth. The CDFF therefore is a specialised platform producing supragingival plaque with a composition that is representative of those occurring in vivo when it is inoculated with a microcosm culture from donated saliva.
We plan to combine the world class expertise of both the School of Dentistry and the Centre of Genomic Research (CGR/MIF-OMICS) for genomic analysis and sequencing. The centre has experience in characterising the human microbiome in a variety of contexts including the mouth, one of the most diverse microbiomes in the body, and advanced insights in its diversity and association to health and disease.
The aim of this project is to open a new area of research into the characterisation and development of more representative oral microbiome models. In the process we envisage the prospective student to get exposure and training in a rich diversity of techniques by utilising the state of art facilities in both departments.
The proposed PhD studentship squarely fits within the World Class Underpinning Bioscience remit of BBSRC, specifically within Fundamental Bioscience and exploit new ways of working.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
BB/T508858/1 01/10/2019 30/09/2023
2277258 Studentship BB/T508858/1 01/10/2019 30/09/2023 Rowan Softley