International Conference on BioTribology Success

The 4th International Conference on BioTribology last week in Montreal was an especially exciting conference for us. Following the success of the 2016 conference, we were looking forward to hearing what new trends and applications had developed over the past two years in this relatively infant industry. In addition to this, we were unveiling our new BioTribology Machine (BTM), which includes a sleek modern design and features such as an adjustable x, y and z stage and simple, interchangeable specimen holders.

BioTribology Machine

Tuesday was set up day; with the BTM on display, our new contemporary exhibition stand set up, and recently re-designed biotribology brochures available, we were pleased with our new look. We rewarded ourselves with a relaxed evening of poutine and beer.

The first day of the conference began with a track on oral perception, which included a talk by Grace Hully, our Sales and Marketing Manager, who presented results using the BTM. The study looked at relating the frictional properties of diary milk and non-diary alternatives to their mouthfeel and their popularity with consumers. Unlike previous studies using other instruments, the extremely sensitive transducers on the BTM detected a notable variation in friction between different fat contents in dairy milk. Following this, the diary milk results were compared to non-diary alternatives to see if a relationship could be drawn.

Average Friction against time across three cycles for a range of diary milks
Friction force across one cycle for a range of non-diary alternatives compared to semi-skimmed milk

If you would like a copy of the whole presentation, please contact us.

The following days included some excellent talks using PCS’ Instruments, including work by; Dr Philippa Cann and Elze Porte from Imperial College, who presented the first published work using the BTM on hydrogels for articular cartilage, Dr Anwesha Sarkar’s group from the University of Leeds on oral tribology, and Dr Khan from NCS University on skin creams.

During the week, recent cutting-edge research was presented on a wide range of applications from artificial joints, personal care, skin and dental tribology, to haptics and perception. The conference ended with a heated (but friendly) debate on whether the materials used for hip replacements should be metal or ceramic, a hot topic currently.

Overall, it was an extremely interesting conference and the quality of research was of the highest order.  It must be noted that the high quality was not only present in the research but also the social networking evenings and lunches throughout the week. We would have expected nothing less from a conference analysing food and beverages.