The technology of DentaPure
The Space Act of 1958 lead to the official formation of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Knowing that accomplishing the goals of the newly created NASA program would require the development of novel, cutting edge technology the Space Act called for the dissemination of NASA research and technology to the public.
The next step in bringing rocket science to the people was the Technology Utilization Program created in 1962. This program published a series of briefs on the technology being developed by NASA and encouraged entrepreneurs in the private sector to submit ideas on how to use technology. Successful applicants were granted the right to use a particular piece of technology in the public sector. Beginning in 1973, as a way to gauge the success of the program, annual reports were made to the congress of the United States of America. The reports were so engaging that starting in 1976 a full color publication, called Spinoff, was created to detail to the stories of success that stemmed from NASA technology.
Water, the source of life
Every living thing that we’ve found so far needs water to survive. Including bacteria. Of course there are some things that we’d rather not share our water with, like bacteria. Developing a technology to provide, clean, safe drinking water for astronauts in space was a big task. Not only is water easy to contaminate, there’s evidence that shows bacteria growing in micro-gravity, the low gravity conditions of space, actually grow faster and stronger than they would in your waterline at home under the full effect of the Earth’s gravitational pull. 1 Ultimately, no one wants to be sick and no one wants to be sick in space.
NASA had several requirements for the technology: it must be difficult to break, easy to replace, provide drinking water with less than 1 CFU/mL of contamination, and be absolutely trustworthy. 2 What the NASA scientists developed is a microbial check value with no moving parts that kills bacteria on contact and inhibits the growth of biofilm.
DentaPure scientists have adapted that microbial check value technology into a cost effective way to treat the water in your dental chair. A simple cartridge that attaches to your waterline, contains no moving parts, kills bacteria on contact, and requires little human interaction.
Where do we come in?
In 1992 the troops in Desert Storm used iodinated resin to purify water in Iraq. Barry Hammarback, our CEO, and his partners realized that the space age technology could be adapted for use in purifying water in a dental setting, and set about performing the research to validate the concept.
DentaPure products have been featured in two editions of Spinoff and we continue to be one of the most successful spinoff companies in the history of the program.
Inside each DentaPure cartridge, whether for municipal or bottled water, is a quantity of iodinated resin. As water flows through the cartridge it pulls elemental iodine, I2, from the resin into the water stream. From there the iodine interacts with any bacteria in the water, killing it on contact. This simple system is FDA and EPA cleared to provide water under 200 CFU/mL with absolutely no testing requirement. Remember, it was designed to provide water under 1 CFU/mL to the astronauts in the space shuttle! With no protein attached to the iodine, it poses no risk for allergies and any “unused” iodine evaporates into the air. Your water is safe to use, safe to drink and safe to run down the drain. Your cartridge can go into the trash when the useful life is exhausted.
From NASA to DentaPure to You! It IS rocket science!
1 Rosenzweig J, et al. (2010) Spaceflight and modeled microgravity effects on microbial growth and virulence . Appl Microbiol Biotechnol (2010) 85:885–891
2 Methods for Developing Spacecraft Water Exposure Guidelines. Washington, D.C.: National Academy, 2000. Print.