A manmade material similar to bone was recently announced the winner of Samart Innovation Awards 2012.
A team of engineering students from King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT), took top honours for their use of shape-memory alloy to make medical devices. The students found that the shape-memory alloy has qualities more similar to bone than other materials, and the team studied the biological compatibility and are confident it's safe for dental braces.
Shape-memory alloy can transform with heat through a wide temperature range, from -100C to 1,000C.
"We have used the shape-memory alloy of titanium and nickel (TiNi) as orthodontic arch wire [as it] has a superior quality to the present orthodontic arch wire that is made with stainless steel," said Naritcha Torsutkanok, a team member who is now the sales manager of Smartmat Innovation Co Ltd, as the project has been conducted by Smart Lab of KMUTT by working closely with the Dental Faculty of Mahidol University for eight years.
Naritcha explained that this innovation enables orthodontists to attain higher efficiencies. Patients have no pain and the treatment takes less time. The TiNi orthodontic arch wire has less chemicals than stainless steel as it has titanium as a component.
Smart Lab has applied for ISO13485 and a CE Mark patent for the product.
Meanwhile, another three projects received runners-up awards: the standing wheelchair, the Thai social network site thorfun.com, and mobile app Mad Teacher And The Magic Number.
The manual standing wheelchair created by engineering students from Thammasat University helps physically weak patients to stand up by themselves. Weighing less than 20kg, it's also cheaper than imported wheelchairs. Thai social network site thorfun.com was created based on the idea that websites today should allow users to have the privilege of earning money because they are the ones who generate content.
Marwin Chirapaisarnkul, managing director of thorfun.com, explained that the website has operated under the concept of "user affiliation" by offering 51% of generated revenue to users, sharing not just networking space but also rewarding those who enrich other people's lives.
"Users can do everything they are doing on Facebook, sharing their happiness via blogs or photo albums, meanwhile, they can have revenue from the website based on the number of views of their blogs," he said.
The website's source of revenue is advertising, and the concept has attracted a venture capitalist from Singapore. Marwin reflected that he wanted to build thorfun.com into a stronger network in Thailand.
"I believe that within five years, any social media website that does not share revenue with users will disappear," he said.
Mobile application Mad Teacher And The Magic Number _ a casual game that engages users in maths challenges _ was the idea of Thera Sirichareon whose parents are maths teachers.
"Many people are afraid of maths or calculations, so we designed the game to make users enjoy the subject through competition," said Thera.
The game targets teenagers and family members. Two players can compete in maths problems and they can share their scores with friends on Facebook. As well as addition, subtraction, multiplication and division problems, the developers want to add puzzles such as crosswords.
Samart Innovation Awards is a competition for innovative development.
It was initiated by Samart Corporation and is the only IT contest held by the private sector in collaboration with the Business Incubation Centre of the National Science and Technology Development Agency.
The winner receives 200,000 baht, while the every team who pass through the final round receives 20,000 baht.
About the author
- Writer: Sasiwimon Boonruang
Position: Life Writer