12/19/2019 | Press

A medical connoisseur – the tongue as a sensor for infections

Biotech start-up from Frickenhausen develops chewing gum as test system for bacteria

People seeing the doctor normally take their gum out of their mouth first, but if a start-up company from the STERN BioRegion has its way, chewing gum could become part of the diagnostic process and patients will need to exercise their jaws before receiving treatment. The team at 3a-diagnostics GmbH from Frickenhausen is developing a gum that can be used both in doctors’ surgeries and at home as a quick and easy diagnostic aid. The sensor in this case is the human tongue. If bacteria are present – due to an inflammation of the teeth or tonsils, for instance – chewing produces a bitter taste and the doctor can quickly initiate the appropriate treatment. This in-body “test system” is thought to be the only one of its kind anywhere in the world to date.

Illustration of the mechanism of the chewing gum.

Diagnostic aid: the chewing gum acts as a carrier incorporating a thin, soluble film with a specific peptide chain comprising amino acids and a bitter substance

Copyright: Christoph Mett
BioRegio STERN Management GmbH