Method to create Self-Sterilizing Devices using Plasma Energy

Technology #12627

Questions about this technology? Ask a Technology Manager

Download Printable PDF

Collections
Categories
Researchers
Subrata Roy
Karl Zawoy
Managed By
Lenny Terry
Assistant Director 352-392-8929
Patent Protection
US Patent 9,757,487

Invention

The University of Florida is seeking companies interested in commercializing an innovative self-sterilizing technology used in medical procedures, drug delivery, consumer products, and food preparation equipment and surfaces. This technology utilizes a self-generated plasma field to maintain a constant state of sterilization. The technology is built into the actual device and could potentially be applied to many medical devices such as scalpels, syringes, catheters, and various surfaces coming in contact with patients and healthcare workers. It is estimated that 76 million illnesses, 325,000 hospitalizations, and 5,200 deaths occur in the United States each year due to some form of contamination, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. This technology offers healthcare workers and patients a fast, effective, economical and safe means to reuse or safely dispose of medical devices through the process of self-sterilization.

Applications

Dual application for making devices self-sterilizing or for use with equipment and surfaces requiring a constant state of sterilization for medical procedures, drug delivery, consumer products, food preparation equipment and tools

Advantages

  • Neutralizes contamination in seconds using a self-generated plasma field minimizing risk of exposure and offering the highest levels of sterility
  • Allows reuse of devices and equipment, reducing costs, time and inventory
  • Utilizes inexpensive electrodes, insulators and electro-active components, providing an easy and cost efficient means to manufacture and develop this technology
  • Eliminates the need for toxic chemicals used in traditional sterilization methods reducing potential exposure and related hazards
  • Technology can be applied to surfaces of various shapes and sizes

Technology

Traditionally, in plasma discharge, a DC voltage potential is placed across two electrodes. If the voltage potential is gradually increased, at the breakdown voltage VB, the current and the amount of excitation of the neutral gas becomes large enough to produce visible plasma. Dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) involves one dielectric coated electrode that is typically exposed at the surface to the surrounding atmosphere, while another electrode is embedded inside a layer of insulator. It has been found in that with special DBD arrangements, a fast reduction of viable cells by more than four orders of magnitude is possible within few seconds, even for UV resistant cells. This invention utilizes a self-generated plasma field for self-sterilization of surfaces, other apparatus and the sterilization of other objects.