A pioneering lighting system, that can kill hospital superbugs, including MRSA and C. difficile, has been developed by researchers at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland. The new technology decontaminates the air and exposed surfaces by bathing them in a narrow spectrum of visible-light wavelengths, known as HINS-light.
Clinical trials at Glasgow Royal Infirmary have shown that the HINS-light Environmental Decontamination System provides significantly greater reductions of bacterial pathogens in the hospital environment than can be achieved by cleaning and disinfection alone, providing a huge step forward in hospitals' ability to prevent the spread of infection. This novel decontamination technology was discovered and developed by a multidisciplinary team of experts, Professor Scott MacGregor (Electrical Engineer), Professor John Anderson and Dr Michelle Maclean (Microbiologists) and Professor Gerry Woolsey (Optical Physicist).
Professor Anderson said: "The technology kills pathogens but is harmless to patients and staff, which means for the first time, hospitals can continuously disinfect wards and isolation rooms. Dr Maclean added: "The clinical trials have shown that the technology can help prevent the environmental transmission of pathogens and thereby increase patient safety."
The technology was developed in Strathclyde's pioneering Robertson Trust Laboratory for Electronic Sterilisation Technologies (ROLEST), which is dedicated to controlling infection in today's healthcare environments. The research has been supported by the University of Strathclyde, The Robertson Trust and the Scottish Enterprise Proof of Concept Programme, which supports the pre-commercialisation of leading-edge technologies emerging from Scotland.