Chemist Sumita Mitra has been nominated as a finalist in the “Non-EPO countries” category of the European Inventor Award 2021 for applying nanotechnology to the production of dental materials, leading to the creation of a new composite to repair teeth which has many advantages over conventional materials.
Mitra’s material overcomes many of the limitations of previous dental composites, which were either too weak to be used on biting surfaces, or quickly lost their polish and became physically unattractive, according to a release. In addition, her invention is more versatile than other composites, and can be used in any area of the mouth, and simplifies the filling procedure for dentists.
Commercialised as Filtek™ Supreme Universal Restorative since 2002 by 3M, the US multinational for whom Mitra worked for more than 30 years, the technology and the products developed from it are now used by dentists around the globe.
“Mitra’s invention takes what was an emerging technologyat the time - nanotechnology - and applies it to a new sector to provide a solution for dentists and relief for patients,” says EPO president António Campinos, announcing the European Inventor Award 2021 finalists.
“Patents have protected Mitra’s material and helped ensure that her invention remains commercially successful nearly 20 years after its launch.” The winners of the 2021 edition of the EPO’s annual innovation prize will be announced at a ceremony on June 17, which has this year been reimagined as a digital event for a global audience, the release added.