Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Device detects, traps and deactivates airborne viruses and bacteria using ’smart’ catalysts

08.03.2004


Anthrax is nasty stuff. An environmental engineer at WUSTL uses smart catalysts in his device that can detect the airborne presence of anthrax and other bioweapons and disable it.


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 director 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.

Tony Fitzpatrick | WUSTL
Further information:
http://news-info.wustl.edu/tips/page/normal/726.html

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Genetic Regulation of the Thymus Function Identified
23.08.2016 | Universität Basel

nachricht Sun protection for plants - Plant substances can protect plants against harmful UV radiation
22.08.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Molekulare Pflanzenphysiologie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Streamlining accelerated computing for industry

PyFR code combines high accuracy with flexibility to resolve unsteady turbulence problems

Scientists and engineers striving to create the next machine-age marvel--whether it be a more aerodynamic rocket, a faster race car, or a higher-efficiency jet...

Im Focus: X-ray optics on a chip

Waveguides are widely used for filtering, confining, guiding, coupling or splitting beams of visible light. However, creating waveguides that could do the same for X-rays has posed tremendous challenges in fabrication, so they are still only in an early stage of development.

In the latest issue of Acta Crystallographica Section A: Foundations and Advances , Sarah Hoffmann-Urlaub and Tim Salditt report the fabrication and testing of...

Im Focus: Piggyback battery for microchips: TU Graz researchers develop new battery concept

Electrochemists at TU Graz have managed to use monocrystalline semiconductor silicon as an active storage electrode in lithium batteries. This enables an integrated power supply to be made for microchips with a rechargeable battery.

Small electrical gadgets, such as mobile phones, tablets or notebooks, are indispensable accompaniments of everyday life. Integrated circuits in the interiors...

Im Focus: UCI physicists confirm possible discovery of fifth force of nature

Light particle could be key to understanding dark matter in universe

Recent findings indicating the possible discovery of a previously unknown subatomic particle may be evidence of a fifth fundamental force of nature, according...

Im Focus: Wi-fi from lasers

White light from lasers demonstrates data speeds of up to 2 GB/s

A nanocrystalline material that rapidly makes white light out of blue light has been developed by KAUST researchers.

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

New Ideas for the Shipping Industry

24.08.2016 | Event News

A week of excellence: 22 of the world’s best computer scientists and mathematicians in Heidelberg

12.08.2016 | Event News

Towards the connected, automated and electrified automobiles: AMAA conference in Brussels

02.08.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

New Ideas for the Shipping Industry

24.08.2016 | Event News

Lehigh engineer discovers a high-speed nano-avalanche

24.08.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

Streamlining accelerated computing for industry

24.08.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>