New Device May Battle Hospital Infections

Picture: Bacillus anthracis

In tests conducted last fall, a University at Buffalo (UB) research team has shown it can eradicate greater than 99.9999 percent of the spores of an anthrax surrogate in an airstream, according to the researchers.

"That's better than any conventional technology on the market." said James F. Garvey, Ph.D., UB professor of chemistry in the College of Arts and Sciences with John Lordi, Ph.D., chief executive officer. Lordi is a research professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering in the UB School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. "We input one million live, active spores of a thermally resistant bacterium and only one live spore comes out," said Garvey.

Through compressive heating and pressure oscillations that break up and kill pathogens, the dual-use technology called “BioBlower” can be expected to rapidly and continuously eradicate even the smallest of airborne biological pathogens, such as bacteria, spores, viruses, influenza including bird flu, pollen and mold.

The current conventional technology, HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) paper filters trap only large airborne spores and need to be changed frequently, stored carefully and subsequently destroyed. "With HEPA filters, the spores are still alive, once they're collected, waiting to infect somebody," Garvey said. "We kill them at the source."

The device could be made compact enough to turn an ordinary hospital room into an instant isolation unit, Garvey said, or as large as necessary to install in a building's HVAC unit to provide purified air throughout an entire facility.

COMPAMED.de; Source: : University at Buffalo