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Researcher Gets Grant to Invent Toothbrush for Patients with Disabilities

Published: September 04, 2019

Dr. Maxine Strickland

Dr. Maxine Strickland received nearly $95,000 in funding from Rutgers University’s Tech Advance to work with NJIT designers on inventing a toothbrush for people with disabilities.

Her idea was inspired by time she spent volunteering at the Matheny School for the developmentally disabled in Peapack-Gladstone. “A lot of patients there had trouble keeping their teeth clean,’’ said Strickland, an associate professor in the Department of Diagnostic Sciences. “A pulmonologist usually reviewed the patients eating ability and I worked with him regarding the patients’ tooth brushing. I learned that many were aspirating when they brushed their teeth. They can’t spit out the liquid, so the liquid goes into their lungs because of poor muscle control. This can create an illness like pneumonia.”

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