Teeth Protective Wear

Dental healthcare is a major issue globally a vast number of people do not have access to professional dental care and this leads to high rates of dental problems amongst these communities. The occurrence of dental cavities and associated oral conditions is increasing worldwide.

To combat this major global challenge a group of researchers with the support of the Global Challenges Program and the University of Wollongong have come together to provide a possible solution that would improve the health and overall lives of millions of people. This team believe that nanoparticles and their application to the tooth surface may provide an answer. 

The concept is to create a solution that will bind to the tooth surface creating a barrier between the tooth and bacteria. This barrier will prevent the bacteria from adhering to the tooth surface, colonising and creating the sticky plaque that causes tooth decay and disease. This protective layer is an innovative use of anti-bacterial coating and could have a major impact on dentistry and healthcare practices.


The Team

  • Ms Dan Yang (IPRI/AIIM) is a PhD researcher who is specializing in the use of anti-fouling and anti-bacterial nanoparticles and their applications in surface coatings
  • Dr. Martina Sanderson-Smith (SMAH, SCMB, Molecular Horizons, IHMRI) is a molecular microbiologist with expertise in the study of bacterial biofilm formation and antibacterial development.
  • Dr. Susan McInnes (SMAH, School of Nursing) has a deep understanding in primary health care, the impact of dental hygiene on physical health and conducting qualitative studies.
  • Bushra Khan (Faculty of the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities, School of Health and Society) has a research focus on understanding oral health of children in vulnerable communities. As a qualified dentist, Mrs Khan has expertise in oral health and links to nutritionists, dentists, and other providers in the dental health sector.
  • Dr. Paul Molino (IPRI/AIIM) & A/P Michael Higgins (IPRI) have extensive expertise in the design of nanostructured ultra-low fouling materials and coatings for both biomedical and environmental applications. They are engaged in several industry projects relating to the development of nanoparticle-based and polymer coatings for antifouling applications, and will help guide the materials and coating development component of the project.


This project is working towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals:

Goal 3: Good Health and Wellbeing   Goal 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure   Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities.  Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals