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 Study suggests possible new target for treating and preventing Alzheimer's
02.12.2016 | Oregon Health & Science University

nachricht The first analysis of Ewing's sarcoma methyloma opens doors to new treatments
01.12.2016 | IDIBELL-Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute

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: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>