RPI grad's Vio Safe Lights pack bacteria-killing punch

January 10, 2018 06:35 PM

We know that bacteria can change to become resistant to antibiotics. Enter special light fixtures that can actually kill bacteria that causes illness.

An RPI grad got interested in this after her grandmother became sick from a bacterial infection she acquired while in the hospital.

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We know bacteria live on all the surfaces we come in contact with. The challenge has been reducing that bacterial load. The answer -- flipping on a light switch.

The ordinary light tubes pack a bacteria-killing punch. The LEDs inside emit specific light spectrums that affect a specific molecule in bacteria, mold, yeast and fungi.

"So it hits the bacteria cell and actually causes too much reactive oxygen species within the cell and explodes it from within," explained Colleen Costello, the CEO and Co-founder of Vital Vio.

Because humans don't have those targeted molecules, we're not affected and the light can remain on all-day doing it's job. That's key for settings like hospitals, ambulances, gymnasiums and food prep areas -- even food trucks.

"In an actively used facility, we're not going to be getting to zero. We're not a sterilizer," explained Costello. "What we do is we significantly reduce the amount of bacteria in that environment."

Less bacteria means less risk of getting sick. It also means topical disinfectants can be more effective, because there's less bacteria to kill.

Can the bacteria develop resistance to the light?

"What this lighting does is, it's a broad spectrum that allows to target a very critical molecule in the bacteria. So all testing to date has shown that there hasn't been any resistance to this method," noted Costello.

Samaritan Hospital used Vio Safe Lights in their old emergency department and they say they were very pleased. They have yet to arrange for Vio Safe Lights in their new emergency department.

Light disinfecting technology has been around for years, but using UV light. That can harm humans. It can't be used ongoing. The fact that the Vital Vio-Safe Light can be used around the clock sets it apart.

More information:
Vital Vio - vio safe lights


Benita Zahn

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