A lighting system appears to be able to kill hospital superbugs—including MRSA and C. Difficile—by decontaminating the air and exposed surfaces in a narrow spectrum of visible-light wavelengths, known as HINS-light.
Clinical trials from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland, have shown that HINS-light significantly reduces bacterial pathogens in the hospital environment than can be achieved by cleaning and disinfection alone. This technology may provide hospitals with an additional effective means to prevent the spread of hospital-acquired infections—a crisis plaguing hospitals around the world.
A narrow spectrum of visible-light wavelengths is used to excite molecules contained within bacteria. This in turn produces highly reactive chemical species that are lethal to bacteria, such as meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Clostridium difficile.
Traditional disinfection and sterilization methods have significant limitations. Unlike other decontamination methods such as those involving gas sterilants or UV-light, HINS-light is harmless to patients and staff. Furthermore, the pervasive nature of light permits the treatment of air and all visible surfaces, regardless of accessibility, either through direct or reflected exposure to HINS-light within the treated environment. This enables hospitals to continuously disinfect wards and isolation rooms.