C R E S T
Engineered Signal Transduction
92% of the World has Dental Caries
As the world's most prevalent chronic disease, dental caries' (tooth decay) treatments are few and outdated. Our goal is to develop a novel preventative treatment that will function by inhibiting one of the key steps in pathogenesis: biofilm formation mediated by Streptococcus mutans.
During biofilm formation, S. mutans communicate via a two-component quorum sensing pathway, known as the ComCDE system. This system allows them to sense the presence of other bacteria, and upon activation, secrete adhesive proteins that are used to stick to the surface of the teeth.
In order to create a highly specific sense-and-respond system, we ported the ComCDE system into mammalian cells. This grants them the ability to detect the presence of S. mutans and release anti-biofilm proteins preemptively. Our engineered cells will be encapsulated in a hydrogel that will be implanted in the gingival region of patients' gums.
We hope that our technology will help advance the field of dentistry and make dental care more effective, efficient, and modern. Please use the links above to learn more about our project!