Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Space technology to help hospitals contain spread of avian flu infection

11.05.2006

In response to concerns from hospitals to prepare for eventual pandemic flu outbreaks, the French company AirInSpace, with support from ESA’s Technology Transfer Programme, has successfully adapted technology developed to protect astronauts for use in critical care centres to protect immune-deficient patients against airborne pathogens such as the avian flu virus.

Independent tests conducted at the Laboratory of Virology and Viral Pathogenesis in Lyon, France, by Professor Bruno Lina confirmed this week that AirInSpace’s Plasmer™ bioprotection system completely eliminates airborne avian flu virus from highly concentrated aerosols.

The technology for the biological decontamination of air onboard manned spacecraft was invented in the early 90s by a group of Russian scientists. In 1997 the Russian space station MIR was equipped with Plasmer reactors to protect cosmonauts and electronic equipment from bacteria, viruses and fungal contamination. In April 2001, reactors were also installed to clean the air from micro-organisms in the Russian segments of the International Space Station.

European space industry has invested in research and development of similar systems to clean air on-board spacecraft, and has achieved excellent results in air monitoring and purification for manned space missions. For example, Italian industry has developed the life support system shared by the Italian Space Agency’s Multi-Purpose Logistics Modules (MPLM) and ESA’s recently completed Columbus laboratory, ready for the International Space Station.

Space tech at work in hospitals

Plasmer is a multistage system using strong electric fields and cold-plasma chambers to eliminate micro-organisms in the air. With support from ESA’s Technology Transfer and Promotion Office, AirInSpace used this space technology in 2001 to develop a transportable and protective unit for use in hospitals and emergency scenarios, providing an easily deployable clean room.

"With the special Plasmer technology we have managed to develop an innovative solution to provide clean air by destroying more than 99.9% of micro-organisms, responding to the special needs of immune-compromised patients in hospitals," said Laurent Fullana, CEO of AirInSpace.

"Our system ’ImmunairTM’ uses five Plasmer reactors to provide a clean-air ’tent’, free of infective germs around a patient’s bed. It is targeted primarily for immuno-haematology, oncology, reanimation and transplant hospital departments.”

A smaller mobile medical device, named PlasmairTM has been successfully launched to help contain infection risks and meet air quality standards in operating theatres, cytotoxic preparation rooms, research labs, intensive care, and sterilization rooms.

Immunair and Plasmair have now been used in more than 70 medical centres in France.

"Mobile equipment using this type of technology could be used to control the risks of cross-contamination in case of patient isolation required during a pandemic outbreak," said Professor Lina, Head of the French National Reference Centre for the Flu and one of the leading bird-flu experts in France.

"In case of a local avian flu outbreak, our Plasmair and Immunair systems could be put in place within hours to establish emergency temporary hospital facilities, for example in schools, for more people than conventional local hospitals can handle," Fullana added, confirming that interest has already been expressed from several authorities to establish portable emergency facilities using Plasmer bioprotection systems.

AirInSpace is actively working to expand the use of the Plasmer technology in new air treatment systems for non-hospital applications, such as commercial airliners, private jets, other transportation means, industrial environments and residential usage.

Pierre Brisson | alfa
Further information:
http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Technology_Transfer/SEMQ5NOFGLE_0.html

More articles from Medical Engineering:

nachricht New technique makes brain scans better
22.06.2017 | Massachusetts Institute of Technology

nachricht New technology enables effective simultaneous testing for multiple blood-borne pathogens
13.06.2017 | Elsevier

All articles from Medical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New 3-D model predicts best planting practices for farmers

26.06.2017 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

New research reveals impact of seismic surveys on zooplankton

26.06.2017 | Life Sciences

Correct connections are crucial

26.06.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>