Team:Estonia TUIT


Around 2.3 billion people suffer from caries. The preventive measures include dietary restrictions, exposure to adequate doses of fluoride, and tooth brushing. However, inappropriate tooth brushing may cause dental cavities and harm gums. Therefore, safer and unified oral hygiene methods are in demand.

Tooth decay is caused by bacteria that bind the human SALSA protein on teeth' surface, forming a biofilm and producing acids that destroy teeth.

In SALSASMILE, we engineer a protease to target the SALSA protein. We expect that cleaving SALSA will remove bacteria even from the inaccessible areas, making oral hygiene more efficient.

We develop a simple assay in yeast to select for proteases that cleave the desired sequence. Combined with deep mutational scanning or directed evolution, this is a powerful tool to engineer proteases.

Everyone, especially children, people with orthodontic cases, or disabled individuals could use SALSASMILE alongside tooth brushing for improved oral hygiene.

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