Purdue works on airborne disinfection technology

Last month, a team of Purdue researchers presented a new airborne disinfecting technique called the Photodynamic Airborne Cleaner (PAC). Unlike other approaches that pose risks to humans—PAC relies on FDA-approved food dyes that can produce singlet oxygen, a special “excited version” of normal molecular oxygen that can kill airborne pathogens.

Young Kim, associate professor of biomedical engineering, said that in a medical environment, singlet oxygen has been shown to inactivate viruses. The team is working on creating a scalable aerosol generation system for the dyes. The dye would disperse in a uniform, fog-like way to “minimize wetting and surface staining.”

The researchers are working with the Purdue Research Foundation’s Office of Technology Commercialization to license the technology.