UV disinfection trolley developed to clean up hospital spaces

New Delhi (NVI): A UVC based disinfection trolley has been developed to rapidly clean the hospital environment by the International Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy and New Materials (ARCI).

The trolley using UB+V light was developed as UV light in the range of wavelengths between 200 and 300 nm is capable of inactivating microorganisms, such as bacteria and viruses, thus disinfecting both air and solid surfaces.

ARCI along with an autonomous R&D Centre of Department of Science and Technology (DST) and University of Hyderabad (UoH) worked together on developing the trolley with the help of Mekins Industries Ltd. (MIL).

Coronavirus is sensitive to UVC light, as in the case of other viruses and bacteria. Rapid decontamination of the used patient-care beds and hospital rooms before admission of subsequent occupants is a major requirement in hospitals in view of the limited availability of beds.

The germicidal effects of UVC irradiation with peak intensity at 254 nm can result in cellular damage of the virus, thereby inhibiting cellular replication. Unlike chemical approaches to disinfection, UV light provides rapid, effective inactivation of microorganisms through a physical process.

The UVC disinfection trolley consists of 6 UVC germicidal tubes, which are arranged in such a way that 3 sides are illuminated with 2 tubes facing each direction. While these lamps take care of disinfection on the walls, bed, and room air, the floor disinfection is done by 2 smaller UV lights located at the bottom facing the floor. The hospital rooms get disinfected when the trolley is moved around in the room by an operator in protective suit and UV resistant goggles.

The present system is the first prototype and is readily usable in hospitals and railway coaches that are also being planned for treatment of COVID-19 patients. The UV-light disinfection system must be operated in unoccupied rooms after the patient is discharged and in the absence of health personnel.

Professor Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, DST said, “Dry disinfection and sterilization of hospital rooms, instruments and other surfaces in the high-risk areas using a deep ultraviolet light is a good solution, which is implemented by the designer trolley in a compelling package that brings in ease, speed and efficiency.”