Now that we know that the virus that causes COVID-19 can be transmitted by aerosols, researchers and engineers around the world have turned their attention to helping to promote air circulation in places with higher risk exposure and kill any active virus particles that may be in the air,media TechCrunch reported. One of the jobs was created by Nanowave Air, a Pittsburgh-based company called Dynamics. It uses UV-C light to kill viruses in enclosed spaces in a safe and enclosed manner.
Nanowave Air works in much the same way as any air purifier in the user’s home, using a fan to draw in air, then through a filter and back into the room. The difference is that the filter in this case is actually exposed to ultraviolet light — especially UV-C light– a type that has been shown to be effective in killing the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19.
UV-C light is different from the UV-A light that is common to all of us, UV-C light is exposed to a large amount of sunlight, direct exposure to UV-C light is harmful to human body. In the past, it has been used to sterilized indoor viral surfaces, but in general, the rooms that use it are not available at the time, and once they are no longer in use, allowing people to re-enter, it is clearly ineffective.
Nanowave Air was created by Dynamics, a spin-off company at Carnegie Mellon University, when its CEO realized that the technology they were working on around UV-C light sources had been used in large-scale industrial applications that could be adapted to solve the COVID-19 crisis. This led to Air’s portable design, which is about the size of an amateur telescope, which works by including UV-C light in it and using a fan to leak air over at high speeds so that any active viruses that exist can be mediated, while still allowing people to continue to occupy the space in which it works.
Nanowave Air is out now, retailing for $3,450. It is intended for use in spaces such as primary health-care facilities, dental clinics and other shared locations, and although current guidance revolves around maintaining social distance, especially indoor exposure, people must occupy the same space. The company, which has tested its technology in several laboratories across the United States, including the University of Pittsburgh’s Vaccine Research Center, also announced that it has now been used in some families with COVID-19-positive patients to reduce the exposure of other members of the family who have not yet been infected with the disease.