Available Technologies

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Gum-health promoting smart dental implant system

Dental implant that inhibits plaque accumulation and gingival tissue inflammation by photobiomodulation therapy delivered by embedded light-emitting diodes (LEDs) powered by electricity generated from the patient’s own oral motion.

Problem: 

More than half of adults will lose one or more teeth in their lifetime. When a patient loses a tooth the treatment options are to either not replace it, use a denture in place of the missing tooth, or insert a dental implant. While dental implants are the most invasive, costly and time-consuming option, they tend to provide the most long-term benefit to the patient.

Currently, an estimated 5 million implants are placed each year in the U.S. Dental implants look and feel like natural teeth, while also being secure, unlike dentures. However, peri-implant mucositis occurs in around 40% of implants and about 15% of all cases over ~19 years post implant placement fail. Currently, there is no effective preventive measure to reduce the incidence of peri-implant diseases.

Solution: 

Dental implants smart enough to that auto-deliver photobiomodulation therapy (PBM) to prevent plaque build-up and gum inflammation. The PBM is delivered via LEDs integrated into the dental implant and powered by the patient’s own natural oral motion.

Technology Overview: 

The smart dental implant utilizes piezoelectric nanoparticles embedded in the dental crown to generate electricity which powers microLEDs in the abutment to create an oral photobiomodulation system that will maintain tissue health while preventing bone loss. The electricity generated by the nanoparticles within the crown is derived from the patient’s own mouth movements such as chewing, brushing and rinsing. 

Advantages: 

  • Sustained inhibition of bacterial growth/adhesion
  • Maintain homeostasis of oral microbiome due to non-microbicidal infection control
  • Convert oral motion into electrical energy to deliver photobiomodulation therapy to the surrounding gum tissue

(A) Healthy condition maintained by proposed advanced dental implant (Smart Dental Implant System), (B) unhealthy scenario with normal implant, (C) the first-generation of Smart Dental Implant system

Stage of Development: 

Bench Prototype

Intellectual Property:  

Provisional patent filed

Reference Media: 

Desired Partnerships: 

  • License
  • Co-development

Patent Information:

Inventors:

Docket # 20-9166

For Information, Contact:

Melissa Kelly Associate Director
University of Pennsylvania
215-898-9877
kellymel@upenn.edu

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