SALINE, Mich., March 28, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Science Foundation has awarded Akervall Technologies Inc. (ATI) a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase IIB grant for the development of high-performance polymer composites mouth guards. The research and development made possible by this grant will address the urgent need for better dental protection in both sports and medical applications. Akervall Technologies Inc. will bring to market an innovative and disruptive mouth guard technology that synergizes nanomaterial driven energy absorption capability with a novel mouth guard design.
Akervall Technologies Inc. (ATI) is realizing a revolutionary energy absorbing material by incorporating nano-suspensions into the thermoplastic polymer from which the mouth guard is fabricated. This NSF grant will result in the first and only mouth guard that can be tuned for energy absorption in a given range, and thus optimized to offer superior dental protection in any specific sport.
"This will be the seat belt for your teeth: the material stiffens instantaneously under impact. This novel polymer-nanocomposite will forever change the way personal protective equipment is made. We can now make thinner, lighter, more comfortable and yet stronger protective gear," says Jan Akervall, M.D., Ph.D, Founder and President of ATI.
There are more than 5 million dental injuries per year incurred during sports activity, costing $500 million to replace in the US alone. The Phase IIB grant will make it possible to manufacture the world's first adaptive mouth guard capable of energy absorption that is triggered upon impact, aimed to dramatically reduce athletic dental injuries in all sports.