Our company, F-Squared Dental Inc., provides devices to dentists which imprint data on regular dental x-rays. Prior to the introduction of our product, Dat-A-Ray® (U.S. patent # 6,041,102), a dentist or an assistant would have had to handwrite the information on the card holder into which the developed film is inserted. The use of a Dat-A-Ray® film holder automatically imprints data (usually the date on which the x-ray was taken) directly in the emulsion of the x-ray film.

The Story of F2D Radio Opaque Ink

Once a patent was received for the device, we needed to devise a method which could imprint the film that was exposed to x-rays. The data which we wanted to appear on the film had to be radio opaque (i.e. block x-rays from exposing the film) and would therefore appear as a white or lighter area on the developed film. There are a number of materials which would block dental x-rays, but many presented numerous cost and/or fabrication constraints. For medical reasons, the use of lead as a blocking agent was not considered.

We began to explore the use of radio opaque ink as an alternative, and conducted an exhaustive exploration with major ink producers, both national and international. We subsequently learned that such a product did not exist which would meet our demanding specifications. Manufacturers representatives told us that the need did not exist or the return did not justify the cost of production. At this time, we embarked upon an R & D program to develop a radio opaque ink. A number of requirements would have to be met in order for the ink to be acceptable to our needs:

  1. Must be "fluid" enough to applied by silk screening or pad printing.
  2. Must adhere to poly-plastic substrates.
  3. Must not dissolve after chemical or autoclave (heat) sterilization.
  4. Must dry hard enough to be impervious to scratching or abrasion.

After about one year of testing, a formula was developed that was acceptable for our purposes. We have been using the ink in production and have found the results and acceptance by the dental community to be very favorable.

Applications for F2D Radio Opaque Ink

Even though we currently use the ink for a very specialized use in the dental profession, we feel that there may be applications for such a product in other venues.

Radio opaque ink can be used to track or locate sensitive or high security products or items. This is particularly relevant in our current security conscious era. The ink can easily be applied and the items can be tracked/located with an inexpensive industrial x-ray system.

All information contained herein is based upon data obtained and/or witnessed by F-Squared Dental, Inc. personnel and is believed to be reliable. No warranty is either expressed or implied in regards to suitability for a particular application or any infringements upon patents.

For more information, contact:

Frank Danes, President
F-Squared Dental, Inc.
E-mail: Click to send an e-mail for more information.

Revised: March 2007