August 9, 2022
by Lou Shuman, DMD, CAGS, CEO and Founder of Cellerant Consulting
Amicrofibrillated cellulose platform derived from Norwegian spruce trees is the basis for a revolutionary approach to toothpaste that has the capability to offer superior plaque and biofilm removal. The result is more efficient brushing and better oral health. Founder, Chairman, and Head of R&D Mohamed E. Labib, PhD, and CEO Carmine J. Durham are the driving forces behind this innovative technology that started as a medical application and branched out into one of the most novel toothpastes ever produced.
Mohamed E. Labib is a visionary, inventor and scientist who has received grants from NASA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency as well as $40 million in funding from the NIH. His expertise as a scientist and an inventor led to the development of NovaFlux, Inc., a company focused on removing biofilms to boost oral health. At first the microfibrillated cellulose technology was developed to clean the tiny channels in endoscopes. The microfibrils flowing in fluid generate the necessary shear stresses to more effectively remove biofilms from endoscopes compared to conventional methods. The process is critical to preventing the spread of infection between patients and will soon become the standard in endoscope processing.
Dr. Labib recognized that the microfibrils could also be transformed into a micro-structured network for toothpaste. He says that harmful bacteria in the oral cavity have been linked to many serious systemic diseases, from heart disease to Alzheimer’s to inflammation. Removing those harmful bacteria will result in less inflammation and toxins throughout the body. NovaClean flows easily over the tooth surface and completely removes plaque as the fibrillated cellulose moves over the tooth’s surface and interproximal spaces, dragging plaque and biofilm away with normal brushing.
Studies have shown that a toothbrush used with water is as effective as the brush used with traditional toothpaste in removing plaque, and typically removes no more than 30% to 50% of plaque and biofilm. NanoClean toothpaste has demonstrated over 90% plaque removal without the use of antimicrobials or chemicals that may disturb the oral flora. The microfibrils create friction that grabs and removes biofilm, even in areas where the bristles don’t touch. It generates 10 to 100 times more shear stress and frictional forces than current toothpastes, and the material doesn’t break down to saliva slurry during brushing like commercial toothpaste. The microfibrils are so tiny; you can’t see them or feel them in your mouth.
NanoClean is sulfate-free, paraben-free, and silicon-free, and doesn’t use chemicals, antibiotics, or antimicrobials that disturb the mouth’s microbiome. The fibrillated cellulose is all-natural, safe, approved as a food additive, and chemical-free. While far more effective at removing biofilm, NanoClean toothpaste has the mouth-feel and pleasant taste that patients enjoy in familiar commercial toothpaste brands.
Plans for this technology include producing the original fluoride toothpaste and then, in time, developing toothpastes in all variations – whitening, tartar control, and sensitivity. A mouthwash will be added in the future – the friction from the liquid also will remove plaque and biofilm. Also planned is a special formulation to improve traditional prophy paste.
Labib and Durham believe that microfibrillated cellulose technology will change the paradigm of toothpaste for dental professionals and consumers.
About the Author
Lou Shuman is the CEO of Cellerant Consulting Group, dentistry’s leading corporate incubator and accelerator. He is a venturer in-residence at Harvard’s i-Lab, co-founder of LightForce Orthodontics, a member of the Oral Health advisory board and founder of the Cellerant Best of Class Technology Awards. He was selected in 2021 by Global Summits Institute one of the World’s Top 100 Doctors.