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UD students, alumni hope to minimize cure times for dentistry materials

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Katie Peikes
/
Delaware Public Media
UD student Farhad Baqi demonstrates how the Curing Cube works.

The process for creating dentures or crowns is outdated, according to a trio of current and former University of Delaware students. They used a summer UD business program to begin pursuing a patent for a new method to quickly “cure”, or create molds for common dental needs.

Dentistry curing units take an average time of eight to 10 minutes to create a crown or denture mold.

The Curing Cube is a stainless steel, durable laboratory diode-based light-curing cube used to harden a composite material.

UD senior entrepreneurship major Farhad Baqi said his brother Seyar and Edward Bayley, both recent UD grads, believe they have come up with a way to effectively cut down that time.

Their solution is the Curing Cube: A stainless steel, durable laboratory diode-based light-curing cube that takes about a minute and a half to 3 minutes to harden a mold. Dental labs would place a softened mold inside of a chamber, then the device generates light to harden it.  Farhad Baqi, Seyar Baqi and Bayley trying to use updated LED technology that doesn’t create as much heat as older products.

“Every industry has pioneers and we hope to be one of those pioneers in terms of creating technology that really benefits both the dentists and the patients from working with faster turnaround times and better quality products,” Baqi said. 

The process is ripe for an update, Baqi said. To his knowledge, the most recent patent for these types of products dates back to the 1990s. His co-creators, dentists Seyar Baqi and Edward Bayley

His co-creators, dentists Seyar Baqi and Edward Baylee, went to dental school and noticed dentistry curing was attracting a lot of people, but the machines were outdated. Bayley bought his own unit, which was expensive.

They did a bunch of research and they found out actually, the current device wasn’t using the right wavelength or type of light,” Baqi said. “They started experimenting with different light sources, and eventually they found something that worked very well in terms of curing this composite material.”

Their original product was a cardboard box with a light source. They eventually upgraded to white Plexiglas material and then a nine-by-nine-by-nine stainless steel glass cube. Older products use obsolete incandescent light sources, Baqi said.

“We want to make something better,” Baqi said. “Old devices use outdated light sources, which are pretty much no longer seen in the industry. We’re generating almost no heat. Old devices – the space wasn’t optimized for fitting these large molds; we are optimizing, we’re working to make that even better by making the chamber a little taller than it already is in our next design.” 

This year, Baqi said, they are focusing on obtaining a certification from the federal government, bypassing regulations and different types of testing. They are hoping to figure out manufacturing and eventually make their first sale. They have tested the curing cube with a few labs already.

Baqi’s and Bayley’s Curing Cube is part of the UD Summer Founders program, a program allowing students to explore business venture ideas.