Dr. Mostafa Analoui
Dr. Mark Saxen
Medical Devices/Medical Diagnostics
$2.7 million FY08
TSC MEMBER INSTITUTION(S):
National Institutes of Health
THERAMETRIC TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
ABOUT THE COMPANY:
The roots of Therametric Technologies, Inc. (TTI) date back to the mid-1990s, when Dr. George Stookey and his Indiana University School of Dentistry colleagues, Dr. Mostafa Analoui and Dr. Mark Saxen learned about a promising laser light-scattering technology under development at an Amsterdam-based firm. It had the potential to identify dental cavities two years earlier than current X-ray-based techniques. TTI was formed in 1996 by Dr. Analoui and Dr. Saxen. Dr. Stookey bought out the company in 2002 following his retirement from Indiana University (IU) the year earlier.
TTI develops devices that use light waves to spot weaknesses in tooth enamel. The latest hand-held version is markedly improved so that dentists can perform oral exams and have the results immediately fed back into computers that record and analyze each reading. The main advantage will be helping patients avoid cavities or reverse the cavity growing process through professional treatments such as fluoride varnishes. Since tooth enamel decays slowly because acids from bacteria eat away at enamel faster than the body can rebuild, early detection of weak spots is critical. TTI has discovered an unusual niche: it is already marketing a line of patented dental health products for pets. The products include extruded rawhide products, dog biscuits, cat treats, and an additive to dissolve in pets’ water dishes that helps to prevent plaque, tartar, gingivitis, and bad breath in dogs and cats. These products are being marketed only to veterinarians for resale to their clients and are presently available in veterinary offices in 32 states.
UNIVERSITY-BASED RESEARCH CONNECTION:
Stookey’s work in the field actually began in 1957, when he performed some of the original fluoride sampling for Indiana University’s Crest Toothpaste project. He spent the next four decades at Indiana University, mostly as the School of Dentistry’s associate dean for research. In that time, he earned more than 20 US and foreign patents. Original research was conducted at Indiana University, at the School of Dentistry. TTI is housed within the Indiana University Emerging Technologies Center.
ROLE OF FEDERAL RESEARCH FUNDING:
Dr. Stookey received significant federal and state research funding for his work at IU to test and validate the scientific principles behind TTI’s technologies. Federal funding was provided by the National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research, a part of the National Institutes of Health.
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