As part of a restructured license agreement Dalhousie University and BlueLight analytics inc. are pleased to announce that the University has taken an equity position in BlueLight®, a privately-held Halifax business that provides highly specialized instruments and services to the global dentistry industry. According to BlueLight president Colin Deacon, the decision is yet another step that adds credibility and momentum as the Company moves toward the launch of new specialized services to be delivered directly to dentists through global partners. The terms of the transaction are not being disclosed.
Dalhousie University’s Assistant Vice President of Industry Relations, Stephen Hartlen, stated that Dalhousie is proud to be working with BlueLight. “This spin-off company inspired by a Dalhousie invented technology has quickly established itself as a sophisticated manufacturer and service provider based in our region and exporting to some of the most respected customers in the high-value international dental market. They originally commercialized an important educational tool from Dalhousie and have now developed products and services that will help dentists to improve clinical outcomes globally.” In addition, BlueLight’s efforts brought new research funding to Dalhousie. Dalhousie originally licensed technology to BlueLight in late 2009.
BlueLight’s initial technology is called MARC® which stands for Managing Accurate Resin Curing. Within eight months of its launch, BlueLight had international commercial product sales. Research using the MARC Patient Simulator and MARC Resin Calibrator now offers essential evidence that is central to the success of all dental procedures that use light cured dental materials, including preventative care (sealants), restorative care (fillings and crowns), cosmetic care (veneers and implants) and orthodontics (brackets). BlueLight’s MARC instruments have been used in over 40 scientific studies from 17 dental schools in 10 countries. BlueLight has sold this industry-leading proprietary technology to dental manufacturers and dental schools in 12 countries over the past three years.
BlueLight’s new dental chair-side service is called checkMARC™ and recent evidence suggests that the service is rapidly establishing a new global standard of care for clinical light curing. The checkMARC service provides dental clinicians, educators, manufacturers and researchers with a web-enabled scientific measurement and reporting system that helps them to ensure that their light cured dental materials are accurately and reliably polymerized.
The use of light-cured dental materials has become the standard ie the standard in the global dentistry industry. It is estimated that 175 million dental restorations (or fillings) are placed in patients mouths every year in the United States, with resins accounting for 70% of them. The total annual value of the dental restoration subset of the dental materials market is estimated to be well in excess of $36 billion in the United States alone.
BlueLight specializes in ensuring the accurate light curing of dental materials used by the global dentistry industry, and even more specifically, in the accurate curing of resin composite restoration materials. These resins – a type of polymer plastic – are “tooth coloured” as opposed to traditional amalgam or “silver” filling materials. BlueLight notes that in addition to the superior aesthetics offered by resins, they have become the clinical standard in most jurisdictions, and amalgam fillings are no longer available in many regions of the world due to regulation.
When the resin is placed in a prepared tooth, it is cured using a dental curing light. The challenge for dentists has been that every brand and shade of resin requires a specific energy dose in order to be long-lasting and safe for the patient. This process is complicated by the fact that every curing light performs very differently in the mouth. Until now, dentists have had no way of knowing how much light they were delivering to each restoration or when a particular resin was accurately cured. Adding to the complexities is the fact that modern curing lights can be so powerful that dentists cannot arbitrarily increase curing times because of risks associate with heat delivery to the tooth pulp or surrounding soft tissues. Heat generation is an unnecessary and unwanted side effect of the light curing process.
“We’re grateful to have had Dalhousie’s support and confidence from day one”, says Colin Deacon, president & CEO of BlueLight. “We are now poised to begin the full market introduction of services that offer a solution that will improve the quality and safety of the light-cured resins used daily in dental practices around the world.”
BlueLight has benefited directly and indirectly from support provided by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, National Research Council (Industrial Research Assistance Program), The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, The Nova Scotia Department of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism, and Nova Scotia Business Inc.
BlueLight® and MARC® are registered trademarks of BlueLight analytics inc.
For more information, please contact:
BlueLight Analytics inc.
Assistant Vice President (Industry Relations)