The European Patent Office (EPO) on Tuesday announced that Indian-American chemist Sumita Mitra has been nominated as one of the finalists of the European Inventor Award 2021, for her pioneering use of nanotechnology in dentistry.
Mitra was the first to apply nanotechnology to the production of dental materials, leading to the creation of a new composite to repair teeth which have many advantages over conventional materials.
She has been nominated in the “Non-EPO countries” category.
The material used by Mitra 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.
Commercialized 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 currently used by dentists around the globe.
“Mitra’s invention takes what was an emerging technology at 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.
The winners of the 2021 edition of the EPO’s annual innovation prize will be announced on June 17.