Scientist invents asthma-protection filters

  • Vanita Srivastava, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • |
  • Updated: Feb 27, 2013 01:41 IST

An Indian scientist and his team of researchers at the Washington University in St Louis have invented a new filtering technology which promises to protect lungs from allergens, viruses and ultrafine particles that causes asthma.

The device, known as the SXC ESP, was found to prevent respiratory and viral infections and inhalation-induced allergic reactions more efficiently than existing filter-based systems. The finding has been recently published in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

"India needs help when it comes to particulate matter and aerosol emissions. Most developed countries are now focusing on control of ultrafine airborne particles. Existing devices are not very effective in these ranges and our technology has proved to be very effective," Pratim Biswas, professor and head energy, environmental and chemical engineering at the Washington University, who led the research, told HT.

The device works by placing a charge on the particles and then using an electrical field to trap the particles. The SXC unit then also completely inactivates biological particles, by irradiating them, and photoionizing them-as UV light does, only more energetically.

The reason existing devices such as electrostatic preceptors' do not work well is because they cannot charge the entire fraction of ultrafine particles Biswas said adding: "Our invention was geared at better charging

and capture. This has proven to be very effective against the most dangerous bio agents also."


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