University of Alberta (Ying Tsui, Tarek El-Bialy, Jie Chen) SmileSonica Inc

2023 Winner: Researcher of the Year

Winner: University of Alberta (Ying Tsui, Professor, Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering; Tarek El-Bialy, Professor, Dept. of Dentistry; Jie Chen, Professor, Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering)
SmileSonica Inc (Cristian Scurtescu, CEO)

Presenter: Rainer Iraschko – Principal Technology Architect, TELUS

Initiative: Invention and Commercialization of Low-Intensity Pulsed Ultrasound Dental Therapy Device

Finalist: Innovation of the Year

Dr. Ying Yin Tsui is a Professor in the Faculty of Engineering, University of Alberta. He is a leader in applying electromagnetic, computational and machine-learning techniques for biomedical, environmental and energy applications. He served in many leadership roles in the Faculty of Engineering, including Vice Dean and Associate Dean of Research & Internationalization, and led many successful research, innovation, commercialization and training initiatives. He was the Principal Investigator for an NSERC I2I project, which provided the initial funding to start the development of a low-intensity pulse ultrasound technology for biomedical and health applications.

His graduate student, Cristian Scurtescu, founded SmileSonica Inc. in 2008 based on the patented ultrasonic dental technology. Cristian has over 20 years of experience developing medical devices and microelectronic products and is the inventor of 47 medical technology patents. Under Cristian’s leadership, SmileSonica’s team developed its first commercial product, the Aevo System (, a class 2 prescription medical device for accelerating orthodontic treatment using the novel ultrasonic dental technology licensed from the University of Alberta. The Aevo System is the most advanced therapeutic ultrasound medical device in the world, is manufactured by SmileSonica in Edmonton, is commercially available in over 200 orthodontic and dental clinics across Canada and is expanding into international markets.

Dr. Tarek El-Bialy is a tenured, full-time professor of orthodontics and biomedical engineering at the University of Alberta. He is a leader in the repair/regeneration of orthodontically-induced root resorption, dentofacial regeneration, and biomechanics. He holds many honours, including a fellowship from Pierre Fauchard Academy, fellowship of the Royal College of Dentists of Canada (RCDC), a Diplomat position with the American Board of Orthodontics, and a place as a research fellowship with von Humboldt Foundation, Germany, and the American Association of Orthodontists award for the Institute for Teaching and Learning (ITL).

Dr. Jie Chen, Faculty of Engineering, University of Alberta: A leader in artificial intelligence, integrated circuits and microfluidic biosensors. He is one of the pioneers in designing and implementing low-intensity pulse ultrasound for biomedical research in dentistry, mental health and renewable energy. His honours/awards include, an IEEE Fellow, Fellow of Canadian Academy of Engineering, Fellow of American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, Distinguished ECE alumni award from University of Maryland, Killam Professorship of Canada, and a MaCalla Professorship of University of Alberta.