New environment-friendly shield could offer better protection during dental surgery
Press release issued: 17 January 2022
Dental patients and practitioners could be better protected from COVID-19 and other airborne viruses and bacteria thanks to the development of a new environment-friendly shield by a multidisciplinary team from the University of Bristol and University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust (UHBW). The shield could also increase the number of patients seen by dentists and help reduce procedure wait times.
The device, called NoPaS (Novel Patient Shield), is designed to protect patients and practitioners from harmful diseases including COVID-19, which can be spread through aerosols generated during dental procedures. The device could also significantly cut clinical waste, including the use of disposable personal protective equipment (PPE).
COVID-19 has significantly reduced access to dental care. In the first lockdown routine dental treatments, such as fillings and root canal treatment, were suspended and has not yet returned to its pre-pandemic capacity. Many dental procedures are ‘aerosol generating procedures’ (AGPs). These aerosols could carry virus particles or bacteria that risk the spread of COVID-19 and other diseases.
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The Elizabeth Blackwell Institute drives innovation in research to improve health for all. It nurtures interdisciplinary research to address the complex health challenges facing us today.
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About the Medical Research Council (MRC) CiC
The Confidence in Concept (CiC) scheme is a key part of MRC’s translational research strategy and provides annual awards of up to £1 million to institutions to flexibly support a portfolio of early stage translational research projects. It is intended to accelerate the transition from discovery research to translational development projects by supporting preliminary work or feasibility studies to establish the viability of an approach.
About the Bristol UNCOVER group
In response to the COVID-19 crisis, researchers at the University of Bristol formed the Bristol COVID Emergency Research (UNCOVER) Group to pool resources, capacities and research efforts to combat this infection.
Bristol UNCOVER includes clinicians, immunologists, virologists, synthetic biologists, aerosol scientists, epidemiologists and mathematical modellers and has links to behavioural and social scientists, ethicists and lawyers and is supported by a large number of junior academic and administrative colleagues.
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For more information about the University of Bristol’s coronavirus (COVID-19) research priorities visit: www.bristol.ac.uk/research/impact/coronavirus/research-priorities/
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