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At the mouth of research

25 February 2019

Using washing up liquid to demonstrate effective ways for delivery of drugs
Using washing up liquid to demonstrate effective ways for delivery of drugs

On Monday 18th February, early career researchers working within the Oral and Biomedical Sciences theme of the School of Dentistry held an event in the University Hospital of Wales concourse, presenting their research through use of some interactive activities.

Public engagement is vital for researchers, informing future research activities and stimulating conversations that can inspire the next big idea! Not only this, but public engagement is fast becoming a prerequisite for career development, through strengthening grant applications and demonstrating an ability to discuss research using non-technical language.

Throughout the session, almost 60 members of the public, comprising of staff, patients and visitors engaged with the ECRs. Many of those we spoke to were not aware of the research activities occurring in the School of Dentistry, or those that were assumed that the research conducted was solely dentistry focussed. Participants were able to use Lego (bacteria) and a ball (antibiotic) to destroy the bacteria to demonstrate the difficulties involved when these bacteria form a biofilm. They participated with the interaction between surfactants (detergent) on food colouring drops, demonstrating potential drug delivery systems. A build-a-skeleton game showed the process of bone repair and remodelling, enabling participants to race against the clock trying to build their skeleton first depending on the rolls of the dice.

Some participants provided their feedback on the event;

‘It’s surprising it’s not dental research only.’ ‘There’s no end to Lego uses!’ ‘Normally your research is hidden; it’s good to see it out.’