In the 2015 annual meeting of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, a light fixture was introduced that can kill micro-organisms in the air which are known causes of hospital-acquired infections, including Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, C.difficile and Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus.
Called Indigo-Clean, it emits an indigo-colored light that gets absorbed by molecules within the bacteria, which in turn produces a chemical reaction and destroys the bacteria from the inside. It creates a reaction similar to releasing bleach within the bacterial cells.
University of Strathclyde in Glasgow developed this fixture and it has been in use since 2008 at the Royal Glasgow Infirmary, a test which has been the subject of several studies for effectiveness.
The Indigo-Clean will now be commercially available in the United States and Canada.
“As part of Strathclyde’s clinical engagement in the U.K. over the last seven years, this technology has proven effective in killing bacteria in hospital settings,” said Cliff Yahnke, Ph.D., director of clinical affairs at Kenall, the company manufacturing the fixtures, in a press release. “Breaking the chain of infection, from an infected patient, to the environment, to new patient, is vitally important, and the ability of this technology to be in use and effective at all times will make a huge difference.”
Contrary to what people might think, Indigo-Clean isn’t the first device designed to kill bacteria in hospital rooms.
Earlier this year, a robot that resembles Star Wars’ R2-D2 was introduced that kills bacteria using xenon ultraviolet light.
The Indigo-Clean, meant to be left on, is safe for people.