National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), one of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has issued a two-year $912,943 grant to biopharmaceutical company Selenium, to support the development of antimicrobial dental devices and water lines.

Selenium said that in the two-part grant the NIH has approved $492,972 for year one and $419,971 for year two dependent on achieving year one objectives. The company’s SeLECT technology addresses the need for a safer, more effective and less costly antimicrobial or antineoplastic coating technology that can reduce risk of contamination or infection in the dentist’s office.

SeLECT technology was developed by Dr Ted Reid and Dr Julian Spalholz, co-chief Scientists of Selenium and professors within the Texas Tech University System. Selenium’s proprietary chemistry is a ‘green technology.’ The technology is able to inhibit microbial growth on surfaces through a natural, safe catalytic reaction that does not leach chemicals or toxins into the surrounding environment.

Target markets for SeLECT technology include orthodontic, ophthalmic, and other medical device coatings. According to US firm Global Industry Analysts, the world market for medical device coatings could exceed $7.5bn by the year 2015 and represents multiple growth opportunities for Selenium.

Selenium with the co-development agreement with orthodontic supplier Element 34 Technologies, formerly ClassOne Orthodontics, have created SeLECT Defense, antimicrobial orthodontics that prevent bacteria and plaque buildup, based on Selenium’s technology platform. The FDA-approved SeLECT Defense is being marketed worldwide by Element 34 Technologies in more than 30 countries.

Kris Looney, president of Selenium, said: “This grant is great validation of the importance and novelty of our technology for dental and medical applications. It will enable us to continue our work with SeLECT technology for innovative antimicrobial coatings in dental water line tubing. This can have an impact on the global dental industry and greatly benefit both dental practitioners and dental patients.”