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Brief Published: 21 Jun 2012

Tooth Decay Sensors


An ultra-thin sensor similar to a temporary tattoo that can help detect tooth decay and infection is making its way to the marketplace from Princeton University in the US.

Researchers from the McAlpine Group at the university tell the New York Times that the sensor will also be able to identify certain levels of bacteria in the saliva that indicate stomach ulcers or cancers. In addition to monitoring potential tooth decay, the sensors will also have the ability to contact the user’s dentist and request an appointment.

The sensors are printed onto a thin water-soluble silk substance. While typical eating and brushing would remove and deactivate the sensors, the McAlpine Group is working to make them cheap enough to be replaced every day.

Further advancements on this technology could result in skin-grafted sensors that monitor bacteria levels and detect infection in the body, and report that data back to a physician. This could help make the supervision of outpatients more efficient and convenient.

McAlpine Group