New device diffuses viscous disinfectants

August 9, 2018

A new device created by engineers and scientists in San Diego can diffuse potent viscous  disinfectants for airborne delivery, according to an article on the Infection Control Today website. 
In a study published in Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, the device was used to atomize disinfectants onto surfaces contaminated with bacteria. It eliminated 100 percent of bacteria that commonly cause hospital-acquired infections (HAIs). In the same study, an atomized bleach solution eliminated drug resistant strains of bacteria including K. pneumoniae.
Researchers built the device using smartphone components that produce acoustic waves. The components were used to generate sound waves at extremely high frequencies to cause atomization — the creation of fluid capillary waves, which in turn emit droplets and generate mist. 
Standard mechanical atomization doesn't work well with viscous fluids. It either requires too much power, expensive equipment or breaks down some of the fluids' active ingredients. 
The smart phone components use a material that produces more energy efficient and reliable ultrasonic vibrations, so the device can atomize even the most viscous fluids into a fine mist that can drift in the air for more than an hour.
Researchers are working on an updated prototype to use in healthcare facilities. The device eventually could be used in airports, airplanes and in public transportation.
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