Robot Jaws With Artificial Saliva Help Study Chewing Gum

Posted on July 14, 2020

Researchers at the University of Bristol develop robot jaws to study the chewing of gum. The researchers want to help set a standard for testing drug release from chewing gum in vitro.

The researchers say the robot is capable of closely replicating the human chewing motion in a closed environment. It features artificial saliva.
The researchers found the chewing robot demonstrated a similar release rate of xylitol as human participants. The greatest release of xylitol occurred during the first five minutes of chewing and after 20 minutes of chewing only a low amount of xylitol remained in the gum bolus, irrespective of the chewing method used.

The scientists say the chewing robot demonstrated a similar release rate of xylitol as human participants chewing gum. The study was reported in the IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering.

Dr Kazem Alemzadeh, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, who led the research, says in a statement, "Bioengineering has been used to create an artificial oral environment that closely mimics that found in humans. Our research has shown the chewing robot gives pharmaceutical companies the opportunity to investigate medicated chewing gum, with reduced patient exposure and lower costs using this new method."