Dr Gleb Yakubov


Senior Research Fellow, School of Chemical Engineering, UQ

Dr Gleb Yakubov received his PhD in physical chemistry from the University of Mainz and Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (Germany) on colloidal probe AFM force spectroscopy. He joined The University of Queensland in 2012, where he leads Biointerface and Biocolloid engineering group, with a strong focus on glycoprotein and polysaccharide characterisation using tribological, rheological and spectroscopic techniques. Prior to joining UQ, Gleb has spent several years working in industrial R&D roles at one of the global fast-moving consumer goods companies. In academia, he continues to maintain strong industrial connections, which involves collaborations with major global pharmaceutical and food companies.

Presentation Title: Stimulus Responsive Physicochemical Properties of Human Whole Saliva

Mixing with human saliva is a key processing step in sensory perception of foods and oral care products, which plays a key role in determining product functionality and its consumer acceptability. In order to uncover the mechanisms of interaction between saliva and formulation constituents, we consider physicochemical and biochemical properties of saliva, as well as saliva variability across populations, personal variability and environmental factors. The in-depth evaluation of these interactions and the patterns of variability present a significant knowledge gap, which limits our ability to tune and manipulate mucosal interactions.

 In this study we probe the nature of high viscoelasticity and enhanced lubrication of different types of salivary secretion. We use mechanical and acid stimulation of whole mouth saliva to predominantly stimulate secretion of either parotid or sublingual-submandibular glands. This approach has enabled extensive characterisation of physicochemical properties of both types of whole mouth saliva using a variety of techniques, including: pH, electrical conductivity, particle size, electrophoretic mobility, 1D SDS PAGE analysis, amylase content, as well as rheology (flow) and soft-contact tribology (friction). The results demonstrate a link between mechanical properties of saliva and its composition, which provides a key enabling capability for designing consumer products with novel and/or optimum sensorial properties and in-use functionality.