The Armourers and Brasiers Venture Prize is a significant factor in enabling the commercialisation of promising materials-based technologies in the UK. The research and development led by Professor Robert Hill (Head of Dental Physical Sciences at Queen Mary's Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry), resulted in a new technology (BioMin®) to combat the kind of tooth pain caused by hot or cold food or drinks.
It was this new technology (BioMin®) which went on to win the Venture Prize in 2013.
The BioMin Technologies Limited team created new degradable (bioactive) particles, similar in size to the very small perforations (tubules) in tooth dentine, which are associated with tooth pain. These tiny perforations lead to nerve endings located within the tooth.
When these tubules become exposed (as a result of receding gums or enamel loss) the fluid flow through tubules in the tooth can trigger pain. The bioactive particles designed by BioMin Technologies Limited, slowly dissolve in saliva to develop new tooth mineral which physically blocks and repairs the exposed area. Through the release of Calcium and Phosphate ions from BioMin®, mineralisation can also be promoted within the tubules.
The particles are made of special dissolvable bioactive glass which is incorporated into the toothpaste and will dissolve slowly in the mouth, releasing Calcium and Phosphate ions after brushing to form tooth mineral. This helps relieve tooth pain. This innovation could bring benefit to the estimated 20 million adults in UK (40% of the UK adult population) – and similar percentages in other developed nations, who are prone to tooth sensitivity. The Worshipful Society of Armourers and Brasiers recognised this potential benefit when presenting their award.