Robot jaws shows effect of medicated chewing gum

Medicated chewing gum has been recognised as a new advanced drug delivery method but currently there is no gold standard for testing drug release from chewing gum in vitro. New research has shown a chewing robot with built-in humanoid jaws could provide opportunities for pharmaceutical companies to develop medicated chewing gum.

Photo
A close up of the humanoid chewing robot Dr Kazem Alemzadeh.
Source: University of Bristol

The aim of the University of Bristol study was to confirm whether a humanoid chewing robot could assess medicated chewing gum. The robot is capable of closely replicating the human chewing motion in a closed environment.  It features artificial saliva and allows the release of xylitol the gum to be measured.

The study wanted to compare the amount of xylitol remaining in the gum between the chewing robot and human participants. The research team also wanted to assess the amount of xylitol released from chewing the gum.

The researchers found the chewing robot demonstrated a similar release rate of xylitol as human participants. The greatest release of xylitol occurred during the first five minutes of chewing and after 20 minutes of chewing only a low amount of xylitol remained in the gum bolus, irrespective of the chewing method used.

Saliva and artificial saliva solutions respectively were collected after five, ten, 15 and 20 minutes of continuous chewing and the amount of xylitol released from the chewing gum established. Dr Kazem Alemzadeh, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, who led the research, said: "Bioengineering has been used to create an artificial oral environment that closely mimics that found in humans. Our research has shown the chewing robot gives pharmaceutical companies the opportunity to investigate medicated chewing gum, with reduced patient exposure and lower costs using this new method."

Nicola West, Professor in Restorative Dentistry in the Bristol Dental School and co-author, added: "The most convenient drug administration route to patients is through oral delivery methods. This research, utilising a novel humanoid artificial oral environment, has the potential to revolutionise investigation into oral drug release and delivery."

The study was published in IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Related articles

Caterpillar-like robot could deliver drugs

Caterpillar-like robot could deliver drugs

A novel tiny, soft robot with caterpillar-like legs could pave the way for medical technology advances, such as drug delivery in the human body.

Why do human-like robots elicit uncanny feelings?

Why do human-like robots elicit uncanny feelings?

Many people experience an uneasy feeling in response to robots that are nearly lifelike, and yet somehow not quite “right”.

Sarcopenia: Robotic muscles could turn back body clock

Sarcopenia: Robotic muscles could turn back body clock

Loss of strength and muscle wastage is currently an unavoidable part of getting older and has a significant impact on health and quality of life.

Exoskeleton research marches forward

Exoskeleton research marches forward

Researchers developed a new measurement method to test whether an exoskeleton and the person wearing it are moving smoothly and in harmony.

Network medicine makes drug repurposing effective

Network medicine makes drug repurposing effective

Artificial intelligence can increase the effectiveness of drug repositioning or repurposing research.

A new way to deliver drugs through the skin

A new way to deliver drugs through the skin

Scientists have showed that applying "temporal pressure" to the skin of mice can create a new way to deliver drugs.

A microfluidic chip system as alternative to animal experiments

A microfluidic chip system as alternative to animal experiments

Since mid-2019, the Fraunhofer IBMT has been developing an analysis platform as an alternative to animal experiments in drug development.

Your new lab partner: the robot scientist

Your new lab partner: the robot scientist

Researchers have built an intelligent mobile robot scientist that can work 24-7, carrying out experiments by itself.

Microrobot rolls deep inside the body

Microrobot rolls deep inside the body

Scientists invented a tiny microrobot that resembles a white blood cell travelling through the circulatory system.

Popular articles