Having developed an exciting new dental hygiene tehnology, Lumoral turned to design studio RDD+ to transform its bright idea into a safe and compact consumer device
The purple hue of the Lumoral device lends a touch of science fiction to this light-activated dental hygiene technology. The system was developed by medical experts, scientists and semiconductor specialists, working together as a spin-out company from Finland’s Aalto University.
Lumoral works via a specially formulated mouthwash, Lumorinse. This liquid coats the teeth and the inside of the mouth, adhering tightly to microscopic bacteria.
The patented Lumoral light is then applied, killing any unwanted bacteria it finds. It makes a thorough job of it, too, tackling bacteria that lurk beyond the reach of more traditional mechanical methods.
With the treatment starting to show excellent results, Lumoral turned to design agency RDD+ to transform its technology into a compact, consumer-focused product.
But as RDD+ commercial director James Hastie explains: “The initial concept from the client was a long way from the final execution, using a wand type device to deliver the light treatment. It was clear that this would make it complicated, timeconsuming and likely inaccurate for end users to self-administer the treatment, so initial research and ideation focused on the best methods to deliver the light – ultimately resulting in the mouthpiece and controller as the final form factor.”
Getting ready for market
To arrive at a market-ready product for customers to integrate as a weekly routine, RDD+ set about drawing multiple concept ideas that eventually took Lumoral away from its initial ‘wand’ shape, and towards a form not dissimilar to a mouth shield.
Sketching was used to design concepts for the mouthpiece and controller, using a morphological analysis process to create thumbnail sketches, with an emphasis on balancing ergonomics with style.
The challenge of providing a positive user experience through tactile and visual feedback, while critically maintaining a compact form factor, was worked out through sketching and by team members pitching ideas to one another and then ranking them using a list of pre-defined criteria.
Lumoral – Effective and safe
The development of electronics for Lumoral was a key challenge for RDD+. The team there needed to ensure that the LED performance and control worked as required, both for the treatment to work and also for the device to pass various medical approvals and certifications.
Due to encapsulation in the transparent mouthpiece, with little airflow due to being in the user’s mouth, the designers had to carefully develop the heatsink for the LEDs. This was even more challenging due to the mouthpiece’s thermally conductive polymer.
Thermal modelling was carried out using Simscale for the LED carrier components, to optimise cooling, ensuring that the device would remain at a safe and comfortable temperature for the user, while not damaging the product through overheating.
Determining the correct form for the mouthpiece was also difficult, due to the wide range of users, so the positioning and angle of the light sources became crucial to providing the best performance – and the healthiest smiles.