National Science Foundation Issues Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Grant to The WrightGuard Innovations Corporation in Support of Novel Mouthguard Technology
Funding will drive pivotal Phase 1 research and development activities that gather real-time data on athlete health and performance
BALTIMORE, Oct. 14, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The WrightGuard Innovations Corporation (TWGIC), a University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) startup company developing smart mouthguard technology designed to protect athletes, announced today that the National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded the company an SBIR grant totaling more than $250K.
Developed by the University of Maryland’s School of Dentistry (UMSOD) faculty member Radi Masri, DDS, MS, PhD, and Michael Wright, DDS, MS, CEO and founder of TWGIC, the technology is a smart mouthguard with physiological tracking capabilities that provides real-time monitoring for a variety of biometrics, such as force of impact, pH and hydration levels, as well as body temperature. Currently in the prototyping and beta testing phase, the technology can be used to collect multi-sensor data in real-time, enabling more advanced physiological analysis and a new level of safety and performance for athletes.
The grant, totaling $255,944, will support the company’s Phase I research and development activities. This includes the development and integration of sensors and wireless communication capabilities for gathering real-time data on health, such as core temperature; movement, including acceleration and rotational motion; and impact forces, such as high-velocity collision.
TWGIC co-founder and UMSOD alumnus Dr. Wright said, “I am honored to receive this research grant on behalf of my team of co-developers. We are confident and excited about this pivotal technology’s potential to minimize injury risks to athletes at all levels.”
After years of treating professional and amateur athletes for traumatic injuries, Dr. Wright began fabricating customized protective and performance mouthguards directly for professional players. The WrightGuard’s custom line is tailored to an individual’s unique mouth and jaw structure and has been worn by National Basketball Association (NBA) and National Football League (NFL) players, as well as professional boxers.
“This innovative mouthguard provides a novel platform for capturing and transmitting real-time data on multiple physiological parameters and offers the potential to improve monitoring and evaluation of athletes and athletic performance,” said Mark A. Reynolds, DDS, PhD, UMSOD dean and professor. “I am pleased that this collaboration between Dr. Wright, a dental school alumnus, and Dr. Masri, a UMSOD professor, has resulted in this transformative technology.”
About The WrightGuard Innovation Corporation
The WrightGuard, the precursor to The WrightGuard Innovations Corporation (TWGIC) was established in 2011. The early work of this entity involved successfully translating patented technology, and the learning from iterative product development completed in close cooperation with professional athletes, into a mass market product. TWGIC is working each day to advance the protection and performance of athletes across settings, sports, and skill levels. The company’s foundation is built on decades of advanced dental practice, and rigorous medical research testing. Beyond their everyday usage, TWGIC innovations have the potential to ultimately change the way injuries are diagnosed and treated.
About the University of Maryland, Baltimore and UM Ventures
The University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) is a fast-growing biomedical research center with nationally ranked professional schools of dentistry, law, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, social work, and an interdisciplinary graduate school. UM Ventures commercializes UMB’s breakthrough therapies, diagnostics and devices, fuels the creation of innovative start-up companies, and attracts industry leaders and entrepreneurs to the University’s thriving downtown campus. A wide portfolio of technologies is available for licensing at www.umventures.org.
About University of Maryland School of Dentistry
The University of Maryland School of Dentistry (UMSOD), the world’s first dental college, offers superlative educational programs in oral health. The school is Maryland’s predominant provider of comprehensive and emergency oral health services. For more information, visit www.dental.umaryland.edu.
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