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Announcing a light fixture that continuously kills bacteria

par Gus Iversen, Editor in Chief | June 26, 2015
European News Infection Control
Photo courtesy:
University of Strathclyde
The University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland, is licensing a patented bacteria killing light fixture to Kenall Manufacturing for commercial distribution in North America.

The light operates continuously and requires no operator, kills bacteria in the air and on surfaces, and complies with internationally recognized standards for patient safety.

For the health care industry, which the CDC estimates spends over $35 billion annually on health care acquired infections (HAIs), a technology like this could have big potential.

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The system works by utilizing a narrow spectrum of visible indigo-colored light at an output of 405 nanometers on the light spectrum. The light is absorbed by molecules within bacteria producing a chemical reaction that kills the bacteria from the inside as if common household bleach had been released within the bacterial cells.

Because the light is visible, it is lethal to pathogens but is safe for use in the presence of patients and staff.

The technology has been in use at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary since 2008, and has been reviewed in over 20 peer-reviewed academic publications and 30 conference presentations.

"Our partnership with Kenall in the U.S. is an exciting new chapter which will see this innovative technology become a commercially available product," said Dr. Scott MacGregor from the Strathclyde University research team, in a statement.

"We chose Kenall because of its extensive experience in providing lighting for the most challenging health care environments where infection prevention is a key consideration," he continued.

The system was unveiled prior to the annual meeting of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) in Nashville.

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