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  • Continuously Disinfecting Light Fixtures Commercialized
Jun 2015
KENOSHA, Wis., June 29, 2015 — Designed to continuously disinfect the air and surfaces in hospitals, a new line of light fixtures is about to hit the U.S. market.

Developed at the University of Strathclyde in the U.K. and licensed to Kenall Manufacturing Co. Inc., the Indigo-Clean fixtures emit high-intensity narrow-spectrum (HINS) visible light at 405 nm, which produces a chemical reaction that kills bacteria from the inside, as if common household bleach had been released within the bacterial cells.


A microbial contamination on a contact agar plate with a 405-nm light source in the background. Courtesy of the University of Strathclyde.

The lights can be used to inactivate a range of micro-organisms that are known causes of hospital-acquired infections, including MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), C. difficile and VRE (vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus).

"Breaking the chain of infection, from an infected patient, to the environment, to new patient, is vitally important, and the ability of this technology to be in use and effective at all times will make a huge difference," said Dr. Cliff Yahnke, Kenall's director of clinical affairs.

While other methods of disinfecting health-care environments are effective, they are episodic and results are short-lived because bacteria immediately repopulate the space, Yahnke said.

Continuous indigo light, on the other hand, is lethal to pathogens but safe for use in the presence of patients and staff. And unlike other light-based disinfection systems, it does not require a technician to operate.

The technology has been in use since 2008 at Glasgow Royal Infirmary, a teaching hospital operated by the National Health Service. The technology and its effectiveness have been the subject of more than 20 peer-reviewed academic publications and 30 conference presentations since 2008.

Strathclyde gained a U.S. patent on the technology last year and recently granted Kenall licensing rights for the North American health care market.

Kenall plans to start commercial production of the technology immediately. The company provides a clinical partners program to assist hospitals in evaluating the performance and cost-savings potential of the technology.

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