A gathering of research backgrounds:

With over 30 attendees and 6 project proposals, the recent Oral Healthcare Workshop hosted by Health and Wellbeing Theme Director, Professor Gordon Blunn, proved to be both productive and successful.

With presentations delivered on topics from big data to imaging and printing, the scope of the workshop attracted academics from across faculties, making for a truly interdisciplinary gathering of research backgrounds.


A variety of topic related talks took place:

Professor Djamila Ouelhadj started the series of talks by discussing the role of operational research in health care which she describes as, “the science of better decisions,” and the importance of efficiency in relation to scheduling of hospital staff, specifically – nurses.

This was followed by Dr Gianluca Tozzi on CT imaging of biological tissues and materials and their application in oral healthcare. Dr Maria Salta gave a short presentation on biofilm-surface interactions and Dr Roger Draheim on membrane-protein interaction in bacteria. Dr Andy Pickford discussed the degradation of soft tissues MMP activity in an oral healthcare context.

Dr Marta Roldo explained the applications of Biomaterials in an oral healthcare context including hydrogels, carbon nanotubes and silver nanowires. Their use in regenerative applications, including composite hydrogels and bone scaffolding design was highlighted.

Dr Robin Rumney introduced bisphosphonates and their link to osteonecrosis of the jaw and how this translates to bisphosphonate usage in breast cancer patients, while Dr Krassimir Dotchev suggested useful applications for 3D printing in an oral healthcare context.

Last, but not least, Professor Jim Briggs delivered a talk on how Big Data can influence health and its potential uses in an oral healthcare setting. This included operationalising the collection and analysis of data and its potential uses; specifically, its role in enabling the delivery of better health and social care.

Breakout sessions followed:

Following the talks, three breakout sessions took place. These were, Community Healthcare and Big Data, Engineering Aspects of Dentistry and Dental Care, and Biology of the Oral Cavity. Each session led to a number of projects being discussed and proposals submitted.


Feedback from attendees:

Those who attended the workshop were positive and the following comments were made,

“Very interesting initiative,”

“Make it an annual event,”

“Extremely useful  invaluable, opportunity”


Surgeries planned for successful proposal follow-up:

Professor Blunn will follow-up promising proposals with planned ‘surgeries’ to discuss potential inter-disciplinary research projects with Professor Louca and Dr Wanyoyi. Successful projects will be taken forward to the next stage.

Professor Blunn commented, “project proposals taken forward will be developed in to grant proposals. I hope that the workshop will produce concrete proposals to be submitted to grant awarding bodies external to the University of Portsmouth over the next six months.”