Science, industry team up in Italy to zap virus with laser

A scientific study centre supported by the United Nations has collaborated with Italian technology companies to explore if laser light can be used to destroy air suspended coronavirus particles and assist maintain indoor safety.

The collaborative initiative was initiated last year by COVID-19 between the International Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB), a town in northern Italy, and the nearby Eltech K-Laser Company.

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They have invented a forces air device that incorporates a laser beam filter that pulverizes viruses and bacteria particles through a sterilising chamber.

I was thinking lasers were more a shaman than a doctor, but I had to change my mind. The device has demonstrated its ability to kill viruses in just 50 milliseconds," says Serena Zacchigna.

In the post-Covid-19 catastrophe, healthy indoor settings with significantly lower pathogen counts, which caused over quatre million fatalities in only 18 months globally, are considered vital for public health.

Zacchigna was a firm that specializes in medical lasers with Italian engineer Francesco Zanata, the founder of Eltech K-Laser, whose products are used to treat muscle inflammation and fractures with sports stars.

Some researchers have warned that light-based technology may be used to attack the virus that causes COVID-19.

Research released in November 2020 by the Journal of Photochemistry & Photobiology reveals concerns ranging from potential hazards of cancer to costly light sources.

But Zacchigna and Zanata have rejected health issues since they believe the laser never stays in touch with the skin.

"We utilise nature against nature in our device. It is 100% safe and almost fully recyclable," Zanata said to Reuters.

However, when they descend from the air to surfaces or to the ground, the technology does not remove viruses and bacteria. It is neither possible to avoid direct infection when someone infected sneezes or talks loudly near someone.

Eltech K-Laser has obtained a patent and wants to extend it globally from the Italian authorities.

The invention's portable form is about 1.8 metres high and weighs around 25 kg (55 lb). The company also stated that the technology may be placed in air conditioning systems.

Meanwhile, the first possible customers, including the German EcoCare, a testing and vaccination solutions provider, are being queued up.

The EcoCare Spokesperson told Reuters in an email, "The company intends to licence the technology for the German and U.A. markets.

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