whitesonic GmbH lands six-figure seed financing from HTGF to develop first ultrasound scanner for digital dental impressions in the field of dental prosthetics
December 20, 2016
The computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM) of dental prosthesis, such as crowns and bridges, has rapidly grown in importance in recent years. High-definition impressions of the regions where teeth need restoration are crucial to ensuring a perfect fit of prosthesis. These impressions are currently made with the use of silicone or an optical scan, with the patient’s gums having to be separated from the tooth so an impression of the whole tooth can be made. The results obtained through said methods often suffer, as the gums, blood and saliva impair the quality of the impression.
whitesonic GmbH, a spin-off of RWTH Aachen University, has devised an innovative ultrasound scanner to tackle this issue. The ultrasound scanner makes an impression of the structure of the teeth in a non-invasive and radiation-free way using high-frequency acoustic waves, as part of a cost-effective impression process. This approach also enables an impression of the surface of the teeth below the gums to be made without any trouble. “We have developed a high-definition ultrasound microscope that fits in a patient’s mouth and offers the micrometre precision required for dental prosthetics. This system will deliver a completely new technology platform for dentists and the dental industry,” says Managing Director Christopher Steinfelsner. whitesonic’s innovative approach enables both time-saving and patient-friendly treatment.
Commenting on the investment, Dr. Philipp Rittershaus, Investment Manager at HTGF, says: “The company will primarily use our financing to press ahead with product development, so that a prototype can be used on patients as early as 2017. Approval as a medical product should then be obtained upon the successful completion of an evaluation phase. Market launch is scheduled for 2018.”
About whitesonic GmbH
The company was founded in August 2015 as a spin-off of RWTH Aachen University. whitesonic GmbH is developing a high-frequency ultrasound scanner for patient-friendly impressions of tooth surfaces inside the patient’s mouth. While being researched at university, the idea landed the innovation award for medical technology in 2009. Subsequent research projects received funding from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy – and most recently in Phases I and II of the EXIST research transfer programme. The ultrasound technology is set to be available for use in patients as early as 2017. After obtaining CE certification, the product is set to hit the market in 2018.
About High-Tech Gründerfonds
High-Tech Gründerfonds invests in young, high potential high-tech start-ups. The seed financing provided is designed to enable start-ups to take an idea through prototyping and to market launch. Typically, High-Tech Gründerfonds invests EUR 600,000 in the seed stage, with the potential for up to a total of EUR 2 million per portfolio company in follow-on financing. Investors in this public/private partnership include the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy, the KfW Banking Group, as well as strategic corporate investors including ALTANA, BASF, Bayer, B. Braun, Robert Bosch, CEWE, Daimler, Deutsche Post DHL, Deutsche Telekom, Evonik, Innogy, Lanxess, media + more venture Beteiligungs GmbH & Co. KG, METRO, Qiagen, SAP, Tengelmann and Carl Zeiss. High-Tech Gründerfonds has about EUR 576 million under management in two funds (EUR 272 million HTGF I, EUR 304 million HTGF II).
High-Tech Gründerfonds Management GmbH
Dr. Philipp Rittershaus
Tel: + 49 228 / 82 30 01-00
Fax: + 49 228 / 82 30 00-50