Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

BioBlower Closer To Protecting Soldiers From Biological Attack

Date:
March 3, 2008
Source:
University at Buffalo
Summary:
A powerful air sterilization technology has killed every biological agent with which it has been challenged, including airborne spores, viruses and bacteria in independent tests conducted for the U.S. Department of Defense.

A powerful air sterilization technology developed at the University at Buffalo has killed every biological agent with which it has been challenged, including airborne spores, viruses and bacteria in independent tests conducted for the U.S. Department of Defense.

Related Articles


A prototype produced by Buffalo BioBlower Technologies LLC, a UB spin-off company, destroyed biological agents to a level of better than one part per million in an independent evaluation conducted over a period of four weeks by the Research Triangle Institute for the U.S. Department of Defense Joint Program for Chemical and Biological Defense Collective Protection.

In a related development, UB recently received a Notice of Allowance, indicating that a U.S. patent will issue soon covering the BioBlower technology.

"Everything from hospitals, first-responder units and postal facilities to government buildings and mass-transit systems could benefit enormously from the security and peace of mind generated by this device," said Rep. Louise M. Slaughter. "Once again, our region is serving as a leader in technological development, and it is this labor and innovation that are benefiting people both locally and throughout our country."

The positive outcomes in the independent evaluation indicate that BioBlower could, in the near future, be protecting soldiers from biological attack, according to James F. Garvey, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Chemistry in the UB College of Arts and Sciences and co-founder and chief technical officer of Buffalo BioBlower Technologies, with John Lordi, Ph.D., chief executive officer.

Lordi is a research professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering in the UB School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. James D. Felske, Ph.D., and Joseph C. Mollendorf, Ph.D., professors in the same department, are co-inventors with Garvey and Lordi.

"This independent third-party validation of our technology was so exceptionally compelling that the military has now directed us to retrofit one of their existing platforms with a BioBlower as a technology demonstration," Garvey said.

The military system now being retrofitted with BioBlower is used to inflate the hospital units and temporary shelters erected in the battlefield for command headquarters.

"We're removing their current fan and replacing it with our electrical air pump, the BioBlower, which also will instantly kill any airborne biological agents on contact," Garvey said.

Conventional technologies involve the use of HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filters, which simply trap large airborne spores. These passive filters have to be regularly replaced and properly discarded, posing a further potential hazard to personnel, Garvey said. In addition, they provide little or no protection against airborne viruses.

"Right now, it's up to soldiers in the field to swap out these filters and replace them, which involves considerable logistic demands, such as labor and expense," said Garvey.

In contrast, he noted, the BioBlower immediately kills any and all airborne biological pathogens and only electricity is needed to power the rotary air pump, which drives the blower.

"With the BioBlower, there's nothing to replace and no maintenance," said Garvey. "It's really 'plug and play.' You plug in the machine and as long as it's running, it's doing its job."

BioBlower units are inherently scalable, said Garvey, and can be installed as a permanent part of a building's air-handling (HVAC) system, including on military bases.

The technology also has potential applications in health-care and hospital settings to ensure a sterile environment. The New York State Foundation for Science, Technology and Academic Research currently is funding development of a BioBlower prototype for health-care settings with the goal of taking it into clinical trials.

BioBlower also has application to the home health-care setting, a market poised to experience tremendous growth in coming years, said Garvey, who adds that a small portable unit could completely sterilize all of the air in any room in the house.

The BioBlower technology moved out of UB's laboratories and into the commercialization phase thanks to funding from several sources, including the U.S. Department of Defense, secured by U.S. Rep. Louise M. Slaughter; UB's Office of Science Technology and Economic Outreach; NYSTAR and the UB Center for Advanced Biomedical and Bioengineering Technology, part of UB's New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences, where Buffalo BioBlower Technologies is based.

BioBlower is based on a modification of a Roots blower, a mechanical air-pump technology, which has been in existence for more than 100 years and has been used for a range of applications from vacuum pumps in research laboratories to superchargers for drag-racing "funny cars."

The BioBlower destroys airborne pathogens by rapidly heating the contaminated air under pressure and mechanically compressing it as it is being blown rapidly through the mechanical rotary pump. The system then blows the disinfected air back into the enclosed environment whether it is a tank, plane, ship, tent or building.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University at Buffalo. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University at Buffalo. "BioBlower Closer To Protecting Soldiers From Biological Attack." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 March 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080228215234.htm>.
University at Buffalo. (2008, March 3). BioBlower Closer To Protecting Soldiers From Biological Attack. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080228215234.htm
University at Buffalo. "BioBlower Closer To Protecting Soldiers From Biological Attack." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080228215234.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Real-Life Transformer Robot Walks, Then Folds Into a Car

Real-Life Transformer Robot Walks, Then Folds Into a Car

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) Brave Robotics and Asratec teamed with original Transformers toy company Tomy to create a functional 5-foot-tall humanoid robot that can march and fold itself into a 3-foot-long sports car. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Police Testing New Gunfire Tracking Technology

Police Testing New Gunfire Tracking Technology

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) A California-based startup has designed new law enforcement technology that aims to automatically alert dispatch when an officer's gun is unholstered and fired. Two law enforcement agencies are currently testing the technology. (Oct. 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

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