Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Six bangs and the bug’s out: light pulses as disinfectants

06.04.2005


Intense light pulses can kill 99.999% of food poisoning bugs in just six bursts, say researchers from Strathclyde University today (Wednesday, 06 April 2005) presenting at the Society for General Microbiology’s 156th Meeting at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh.



The dangerous food poisoning bacteria Listeria monocytogenes can be effectively cleared from contaminated kitchen surfaces, water treatment plants, hospital operating theatres, and even from the air by using pulses of intense ultra-violet light, according to scientists from the Robertson Trust Laboratory for Electronic Sterilisation Technologies (ROLEST), based at the University of Strathclyde in Scotland.

The bursts of UV-rich light last just one millionth of a second each, but six pulses are enough to effectively disinfect an area, killing all but one in every hundred thousand bacteria. The researchers found that the way the bacteria were grown affected their susceptibility to the light pulses, with already stressed bacteria most likely to be killed.


Traditional methods of sterilising foods by using pasteurisation or chemical treatments are generally effective, but they can leave behind dangerously resistant bacteria. The new pulsed-light form of disinfection can kill food bugs very rapidly in exposed situations, if used at the right time in the bacteria’s development.

"Listeria can cause serious disease, especially during pregnancy or in people with weakened immunity, such as the elderly, sick or young children," says Mohd Nizam Lani, who is undertaking PhD research in this area under the supervision of Professor John Anderson (microbiologist) and Professor Scott MacGregor (electrical engineer) at Strathclyde. "By developing a new method to control these bacteria we hope to help safeguard foods and protect consumers."

The ability of the bacteria to survive exposure to UV light depended upon the way they were originally grown. The researchers found that Listeria monocytogenes also has a light repair mechanism, and some of the UV damaged bacteria could recover if they were later exposed to light of a longer wavelength.

The findings of the research open up new methods of preventing human illness, and will have important applications in catering, food and beverage handling, waste and water treatment, and hospital settings. In the clinical and healthcare sector, pulsed light may provide an effective treatment to destroy bacteria in the air and on surfaces in hospitals, helping to control the spread of hospital-acquired infections.

Faye Jones | alfa
Further information:
http://www.sgm.ac.uk

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Routing gene therapy directly into the brain
07.12.2017 | Boston Children's Hospital

nachricht New Hope for Cancer Therapies: Targeted Monitoring may help Improve Tumor Treatment
01.12.2017 | Berliner Institut für Gesundheitsforschung / Berlin Institute of Health (BIH)

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

Im Focus: Virtual Reality for Bacteria

An interdisciplinary group of researchers interfaced individual bacteria with a computer to build a hybrid bio-digital circuit - Study published in Nature Communications

Scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) have managed to control the behavior of individual bacteria by connecting them to a...

Im Focus: A space-time sensor for light-matter interactions

Physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (run jointly by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics) have developed an attosecond electron microscope that allows them to visualize the dispersion of light in time and space, and observe the motions of electrons in atoms.

The most basic of all physical interactions in nature is that between light and matter. This interaction takes place in attosecond times (i.e. billionths of a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Midwife and signpost for photons

11.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

How do megacities impact coastal seas? Searching for evidence in Chinese marginal seas

11.12.2017 | Earth Sciences

PhoxTroT: Optical Interconnect Technologies Revolutionized Data Centers and HPC Systems

11.12.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>