Prevention of Microbial Contamination--dental Practice

Period of Performance: 06/01/1998 - 02/28/1999


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Precision Research, Inc.
Gurnee, IL 60031
Principal Investigator


Precision Research Inc. will develop a closed-loop instrument system, to control microbial contamination, disinfection, and monitoring in dental until waterlines. Potable water sources contain enough bacteria to adsorb on surfaces in many industrial waterlines under the proper conditions (stagnation or slow flow). This adsorption leads to biofilms which provide greater adhesion and protection of the bacteria, forming colonies with greater resistance to chemical disinfectants over time. Industrial areas that are concerned about the bacteria resort to heavy flushing and harsh chemicals to destroy the biofilms at regular intervals. This problem is more difficult to control in a dental office, where the fine lines restrict the maximum flow rate for flushing and residuals of harsh chemicals would not be acceptable. Precision Research will provide a system free of complicated procedures and harsh chemicals. The instrument will use ultraviolet light, recirculation, and chemicals in combination to greatly reduce the development of biofilms and to minimize the risk of infection. The instrument will also be capable of retrofitting to existing dental equipment. It will contain the necessary sensors, electronics, and software to control the process in a closed loop manner, which will minimize manual labor and the chance of human error. PROPOSED COMMERCIAL APPLICATION: This research will provide data and instrument designs which will allow the control of bacteria in water sources in dental, medical, industrial, and consumer applications. Appropriate data citing mechanisms to control the bacteria will be generated as well as prototype systems demonstrating how to disinfect contaminated water systems, protecting both people and equipment.