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 MACC1 Gene Is an Independent Prognostic Biomarker for Survival in Klatskin Tumor Patients
31.08.2015 | Max-Delbrück-Centrum für Molekulare Medizin in der Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft

nachricht Fish Oil-Diet Benefits May be Mediated by Gut Microbes
28.08.2015 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: An engineered surface unsticks sticky water droplets

The leaves of the lotus flower, and other natural surfaces that repel water and dirt, have been the model for many types of engineered liquid-repelling surfaces. As slippery as these surfaces are, however, tiny water droplets still stick to them. Now, Penn State researchers have developed nano/micro-textured, highly slippery surfaces able to outperform these naturally inspired coatings, particularly when the water is a vapor or tiny droplets.

Enhancing the mobility of liquid droplets on rough surfaces could improve condensation heat transfer for power-plant heat exchangers, create more efficient...

Im Focus: Increasingly severe disturbances weaken world's temperate forests

Longer, more severe, and hotter droughts and a myriad of other threats, including diseases and more extensive and severe wildfires, are threatening to transform some of the world's temperate forests, a new study published in Science has found. Without informed management, some forests could convert to shrublands or grasslands within the coming decades.

"While we have been trying to manage for resilience of 20th century conditions, we realize now that we must prepare for transformations and attempt to ease...

Im Focus: OU astrophysicist and collaborators find supermassive black holes in quasar nearest Earth

A University of Oklahoma astrophysicist and his Chinese collaborator have found two supermassive black holes in Markarian 231, the nearest quasar to Earth, using observations from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.

The discovery of two supermassive black holes--one larger one and a second, smaller one--are evidence of a binary black hole and suggests that supermassive...

Im Focus: What would a tsunami in the Mediterranean look like?

A team of European researchers have developed a model to simulate the impact of tsunamis generated by earthquakes and applied it to the Eastern Mediterranean. The results show how tsunami waves could hit and inundate coastal areas in southern Italy and Greece. The study is published today (27 August) in Ocean Science, an open access journal of the European Geosciences Union (EGU).

Though not as frequent as in the Pacific and Indian oceans, tsunamis also occur in the Mediterranean, mainly due to earthquakes generated when the African...

Im Focus: Self-healing landscape: landslides after earthquake

In mountainous regions earthquakes often cause strong landslides, which can be exacerbated by heavy rain. However, after an initial increase, the frequency of these mass wasting events, often enormous and dangerous, declines, in fact independently of meteorological events and aftershocks.

These new findings are presented by a German-Franco-Japanese team of geoscientists in the current issue of the journal Geology, under the lead of the GFZ...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Networking conference in Heidelberg for outstanding mathematicians and computer scientists

20.08.2015 | Event News

Scientists meet in Münster for the world’s largest Chitin und Chitosan Conference

20.08.2015 | Event News

Large agribusiness management strategies

19.08.2015 | Event News

 
Latest News

Siemens sells 18 industrial gas turbines to Thailand

01.09.2015 | Press release

An engineered surface unsticks sticky water droplets

01.09.2015 | Materials Sciences

New material science research may advance tech tools

01.09.2015 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>