Singapore invents interactive mouthguard for medical and healthcare assistive devices

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This revolutionary invention is sensitive in detecting biting forces, allowing users to control devices

A first-of-its-kind bite-controlled optoelectronic system has been invented by a research team led by Professor Liu Xiaogang from the Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, National University of Singapore (NUS), in collaboration with collaborators from Tsinghua University.

Various assistive technologies such as voice recognition, eye tracking, and brain-computer interfaces have been developed in recent years to help people, especially those with limited dexterity or neurological disabilities, control electronic devices. However, these technologies have limitations related to environmental interference, control accuracy, cost and maintenance.

To offer a promising alternative to existing assistive technologies, Prof. Liu and his team successfully designed and demonstrated a smart mouthguard containing integrated pressure sensors to detect occlusal patterns. These models are translated into data inputs with 98% accuracy and can be used to control computers, smartphones and wheelchairs.

In addition to supporting human-computer interaction, the interactive mouth guard can also be used for medical assistance, health devices such as smart electronic skin, and dental diagnosis.

Each smart mouthguard currently costs S$100 to produce in the lab, and the team expects the cost to be significantly reduced in mass production. The research team has filed a patent for this innovative technology and is exploring the possibilities of validating its device in a clinical setting, such as care centers or retirement homes.

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