Service Communautaire d'Information sur la Recherche et le Développement - CORDIS

Final Activity Report Summary - BRIDGET (Biomimetic systems for increased competitiveness in the FMCG sector.)

The aim of the project was to create a means of reproducing natural tooth brushing behaviour using mechanical means in order to reduce the clinical testing phase of oral care product development which is time consuming and expensive. To do this the following key activities were undertaken: Physical characterisation of the human dentition; Real time recording of tooth brushing to give the position of the toothbrush relative to the teeth; development of sensor systems to enable the recording of tooth brushing.

Analysis of the data in a variety of ways to facilitate the extraction of relevant data and tooth brushing sequences that could subsequently be reverse engineered; Construction of a mechanical system that can accurately reproduce the tooth brushing behaviours together with a software system that can store a variety of tooth brushing behaviours and dentitions for evaluation of oral care products under a range of realistic conditions i.e. a Biomimetic system.

The key challenges faced during the project were as follows: Firstly, Could a commercially available robot arm be used? It was found that the workable operating space for a 6 axis robot arm was very restricted and that the mechanical tolerances were not sufficient to enable accurate reproduction of position and velocities of tooth brushing. To overcome these difficulties a 4 axis linear system was designed and constructed.

Secondly, what was the best method of analysing the tooth brushing motion data? It was found that a variety of methods were needed in order characterise and understand how to deconstruct tooth brushing. As a result of this project an approach has been developed that allows the principles developed to be applied to a variety of human based activities. In a more general sense the value of a variety signal processing methodologies has been demonstrated and communicated within the Unilever research organisation and new networks established.

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United Kingdom