Tests in the laboratory. The idea of using medium-infrared light
Lasers, viruses and bacteria. It looks like the title of a series B science fiction film. It could be an Italian series A technology effective against Sars-CoV2, but also the fearsome Legionella. The idea is from an engineer, Francesco Zanata, who has now received what is called in the scientific world prof of concept, proof of concept. «I must say that in these years of emergency due to Covid-19 I have often been called to validate technologies. And they often didn’t have a foundation. In the case of the prototype of the Kair Laser the scientific foundation of Zanata instead exists », explains Giulio Cerullo, professor of Physics at the Politecnico di Milano, president of the Division of Quantum Electronics and Optics of the European Physics Society and organizer of the European conference on lasers. In short, a renowned expert.
«I came into contact with this technology – adds Cerullo – because I was asked for an evaluation by Professor Giuseppe Remuzzi of Mario Negri. Today we can say that, compared to that of handles and solid bodies, one of the most effective ways of transmitting viruses was the spread of water microparticles into the air by those who had contracted it. When these particles are larger than 100 microns they are called droplet and are fired like bullets. When they are smaller, aerosols are even more dangerous because they remain in the environment for a long time.
There are also effective techniques, those of Hepa filters, which date back to technologies of the Second World War, that of gas masks. They are found in many environments, but they have a problem: you often forget to change the filters. Another alternative is ultraviolet light, with a photochemical effect on viruses and bacteria, however its use is not so simple and often requires mercury, a pollutant and harmful to humans.
Zanata’s innovation is in the use of another light, that one infrared average of the CO2 laser», At the base of the prototype just made by Kair Laser. As the co-founder of the company with Zanata, Andrea Morante, adds, “we have already opened discussions with VMD-Health in Great Britain and the German Ecolog Deutschland. We are in that phase that the British call brain in the table (the idea is on the table). But we have a prototype and engineer Zanata has patented the solution ».
The peculiarity of the Kair Laser is to suck pathogens inside a tube where the laser can destroy them. «Without danger to human beings: technology – Cerullo underlines – has been widely used in industry since the 1980s and therefore is safe. It also leaves no residue and is therefore sustainable ». The fact that the laser uses CO2 does not mean that it produces it. The uses are manifold: indoors. But also in hospitals and operating theaters (it is estimated that in 2050 hospital bacteria will be the first cause of death due to the abuse of antibiotics). «In 2005 – explains Zanata – with K-Laser, my historic company, I sold the first most compact laser in the world for surgical purposes and in 2014 the first blue laser in the dental field to Densply Sirona. We have a turnover of approximately 10 million and 30 thousand users of K-Laser products in the world ». Now the biggest challenge: the one against viruses and bacteria with the technology that – according to the publication just made by the researchers of the Icgeb research center in Trieste on Environment International, (Elsevier group) – «with a minimum exposure of 15 milliseconds it can inactivate 99% of the pathogens in the aerosol». The proof of the concept is there. Now we need market proof.
May 11, 2022 (change May 11, 2022 | 23:02)
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