Catalyst Awardee

Project Description

Microbial electricity generation from saliva tells your oral health condition: Electrochemical sensor targeting periodontal pathogen in saliva for the longevity of healthy age

Akihiro Okamoto, Ph.D. | National Institute of Materials Science; Tatsuji Nishihara, Ph.D. | Kyushu Dental University; Gaku Imamura, Ph.D. | National Institute of Materials Science
Competition Sponsor: Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development
Awardee Year: 2020

Oral infections such as periodontal disease and tooth decay cause various systemic diseases including dementia. With a technology that enables easy and high-precision inspection of oral hygiene at home, it is expected that the healthy life expectancy will be greatly extended and the quality of life will be improved even in a super-aged society. Our idea is a new principle electrochemical sensor technology that enables oral hygiene at a price and time that is about 1/100, while ensuring the same level of reliability as genetic testing. We found many pathogenic bacteria and even microbiome are “electrogenic” and generate high current around 1 µAcm-2. Since this current from saliva microbiome contains information on the number, types and metabolic pathway of bacteria in the salivary flora, we can construct a diagnosis system with a single drop of saliva. For example, periodontal disease bacteria sensor, machine learning diagnosis system for Alzheimer’s disease, and device linked with smartphone application can be expected to realize home diagnosis. The same principle is applicable even to human skin and serum flora, and various infectious diseases, reducing the risk of infection for health and longevity.

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View this project poster, first displayed at the 2021 Global Innovator Summit.

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