Since the start of the pandemic, we have seen how dividers and security divisions have been implemented in all kinds of places, apart from the obligation to wear masks, to guarantee safety in situations where close contact between people is necessary. However, despite being somewhat efficient, these measures have significant drawbacks that make their use in healthcare settings infeasible in many cases.
A team of researchers, combining medical and engineering technologies Nagoya University developed a desk-sized air curtain device equipped with LEDs to irradiate the virus with ultraviolet light, allowing people to safely interact in the near environment.
“Although acrylic sheets have been widely used as spacers, our air curtains not only block, but also inactivate viruses. This device makes this type of screen obsolete, and we hope let’s say that its use will be generalized”, Professor Tomomi Uchiyama, one of the study’s authors, explains.
new technology, whose results have been published in AIP Advances, Combines two methods of fighting the virus. First, an air curtain blocks air even when one passes their hand through it. Second, ultraviolet radiation destroys the outer shell of virus particles. Tests conducted in his lab showed that this combination of technologies inactivated 99.9% of COVID-19 particles.
To test the technology, researchers They simulated a typical medical action, such as drawing blood, where the doctor and the patient must necessarily be very close., They tested the device by blowing aerosolized air over it, like how many viruses spread. They then tested whether a patient could pass their hand through the air curtain without breaking the airflow or making the device less secure. They found that the effectiveness of the air curtain was maintained in both conditions.
The new device also solves the problem of air curtains that require replacing filters and regular maintenance to remove dust and dirt buildup. CSince the device uses LED light instead of a filter, it requires little maintenance. The researchers found that it could be used continuously until the LED stopped working, which is more than 10,000 hours of continuous use. Additionally, it is quiet, which will allow it to be used in commercial settings such as restaurants, offices, and reception areas, where noise from the air filter will be a distraction.
The development of the device was the result of a collaboration between Professor Uchiyama from Nagoya University’s Institute for Materials and Systems for Sustainability (IMASS) and Nobel Prize-winning Professor Hiroshi Amano and Professor Tetsuya Yagi of Nagoya University. Higher School of Medicine.