U.S. Air Force and Navy researchers have applied to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for a 20-year patent on a "self-healing" dental composite, according to an article published on February 28 in TechLink.
The February 16 patent application lists eight inventors, including Col. Wen Lien, who is director of Dental Materials Research at the 59th Medical Wing, and Amber Mallory, PhD, who is formerly from the 59th Medical Wing Science and Technology Office and is currently with the Texas Biomedical Research Institute in San Antonio, according to TechLink.
The composite consists of nanocapsules that "break open" and create a cementlike material that fills and seals cavities. The material can also be used as a dental resin for restorative indications, tooth prostheses, orthodontic devices, inlays, onlays, and root canals, according to TechLink.
"Col. Lien and I felt that this idea, and such an advancement in materials science, would be relevant across many specialties and operational situations and would also benefit the joint services," Mallory said.
TechLink helps businesses and entrepreneurs identify, evaluate, and license technology developed within the U.S. Department of Defense and U.S. Veterans Affairs laboratories.