Center Director Robert Karlicek comments on the ‘unique systems for using UVC light to sterilize masks in bulk‘ in the October IEEE Spectrum issue: The Next Pandemic.
“Germicidal UV lamps destroy vicious viruses, new technology might put them many more places without harming humans,” Mark Anderson suggests in his IEEE Spectrum article, The Ultra-Violet Offense (pages 50 – 55), published this month.
In the article, Karlicek weighs in on some of the challenges with sterilizing non-linear surfaces such as N95 masks. “The radiation has to actually strike the virus to break the [RNA] and inactivate it,” he says. “If those virus particles are sitting behind dirt or covered by another fiber, you’d have to scatter a lot of light before you got a good kill rate.”
Use, sterilize, repeat so masks can be reused. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s [mask] sterilizer developed at LESA in collaboration with CBIS and partner Mt. Sinai bathes both sides of a mask at once in UV.