Researchers at the University of Missouri have developed a twist on the traditional tooth-whitening treatment: It uses your cellphone.
Novashine looks like an ordinary home tooth-whitening kit, but the Mizzou engineers who worked on the project designed it to capitalize on smartphone technology.
“Currently teeth-whitening kits that are on the market may cause user sensitivity; therefore we wanted to create a product that was easy to use, safe and had fewer harmful effects,” said David Anderson, a Mizzou graduate now working for Nanova, the spinoff company in Columbia, Mo. “Novashine is registered with the FDA, and our teeth-whitening gel produces less sensitivity and better whitening performance than whitening strips and other products currently on the market.”
The user applies the gel to a mouthpiece with “cool light,” which is plugged into a phone or computer to power the LED lights, according to a release sent out by the University of Missouri news bureau. The user can repeat applications daily until the teeth are the desired color.
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Nanova was founded by four researchers, two of whom were from the university, to focus on research and manufacturing of dental consumables. In the past few years, Nanova has also worked on a “painless” plasma brush to disinfect and clean cavities for fillings, and received FDA clearance a new dental composite that can be injected into a cavity and has much more strength and longevity than current filling material.
University officials said the project highlight’s the university’s impact on economic development by commercialization of Mizzou research, as well as workforce development and job growth. In 2016, the university’s office of technology management and industry relations reported $14.9 million in revenue from more than 40 technology licenses.