Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Device Detects, Traps And Deactivates Airborne Viruses And Bacteria

Date:
March 9, 2004
Source:
Washington University In St. Louis
Summary:
An environmental engineer at Washington University in St. Louis with his doctoral student has patented a device for trapping and deactivating microbial particles. The work is promising in the war on terrorism for deactivating airborne bioagents and bioweapons such as the smallpox virus, anthrax and ricin, and also in routine indoor air ventilation applications such as in buildings and aircraft cabins.

An environmental engineer at Washington University in St. Louis with his doctoral student has patented a device for trapping and deactivating microbial particles. The work is promising in the war on terrorism for deactivating airborne bioagents and bioweapons such as the smallpox virus, anthrax and ricin, and also in routine indoor air ventilation applications such as in buildings and aircraft cabins.

Pratim Biswas, Ph.D.,Stifel & Quinette Jens Professor of Environmental Engineering Sciences and head of Environmental Engineering Sciences at Washington University, combines an electrical field with soft X-rays and smart catalysts to capture and destroy bioagents such as the smallpox virus.

"When the aerosol particles come into the device they are charged and trapped in an electrical field," Biswas explained. "Any organic material is oxidized, so it completely deactivates the organism."

Biswas noted that conventional corona systems do not charge and effectively trap nanometer-sized particles, such as viruses. But his invention combines soft x-rays with a conventional corona that has been proven to be very effective at charging and trapping particles in a range of sizes.

On the walls of the device, Biswas has coated nanoparticles that catalyze the oxidation. These nanoparticles are "smart" objects that are turned "on" and "off" by irradiation.

"This smart catalyst is unique," Biswas said. "If we should encounter some organism that is very difficult to degrade, I can engineer my smart catalysts to function so that they will oxidize those molecules."

Biswas and his collaborators have tested the device using non-potent polio virus and have achieved 99.9999 percent efficiency. He currently is collaborating with the Midwest Regional Center of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases Research (MRCE) and his Washington University colleague, Lars Angenent, to identify the mechanistic pathways of biomolecular degradation.

Washington University in St. Louis has a core group of six faculty who are mainstream aerosol researchers, and work on different aspects related to Aerosol Science and Engineering. This nationally and internationally recognized group of scientists, one of the largest groups in U. S. universities, studies the synthesis and environmental impact of nanoparticles, atmospheric pollution at the regional and global scales, and develops the next generation of instrumentation for detection of these particles, as well as several environmental nanotechnology applications.

Biswas was part of a special colloquium, "Research in Aerosols and Air Quality, " held March 2, 2004 , at Washington University. The event was organized under the university's Sesquicentennial Environmental Initiative wherein world renowned researchers reported the latest findings in the aerosol engineering field. The colloquium, was part of a series of environmental dialogues held in honor of Washington University's 150th anniversary.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Washington University In St. Louis. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Washington University In St. Louis. "Device Detects, Traps And Deactivates Airborne Viruses And Bacteria." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 March 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/03/040309073744.htm>.
Washington University In St. Louis. (2004, March 9). Device Detects, Traps And Deactivates Airborne Viruses And Bacteria. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/03/040309073744.htm
Washington University In St. Louis. "Device Detects, Traps And Deactivates Airborne Viruses And Bacteria." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/03/040309073744.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming

The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming

AP (July 28, 2014) AP Investigation: As the Obama administration weans the country off dirty fuels, energy companies are ramping-up overseas coal exports at a heavy price. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shipping Crates Get New 'lease' On Life

Shipping Crates Get New 'lease' On Life

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 25, 2014) Shipping containers have been piling up as America imports more than it exports. Some university students in Washington D.C. are set to get a first-hand lesson in recycling. Their housing is being built using refashioned shipping containers. Lily Jamali reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Europe's Highest Train Turns 80 in French Pyrenees

Europe's Highest Train Turns 80 in French Pyrenees

AFP (July 25, 2014) Europe's highest train, the little train of Artouste in the French Pyrenees, celebrates its 80th birthday. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

AP (July 24, 2014) TSA administrator, John Pistole's took part in the Aspen Security Forum 2014, where he answered questions on lifting of the ban on flights into Israel's Tel Aviv airport and whether politics played a role in lifting the ban. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins