Thomas Lendvay, Professor, UW Department of Urology and M.D. and Attending Pediatric Urologist at Seattle Children’s Hospital
James C. Chen, M.D. Chief Scientific and Medical Officer, Epistat
Tanner Clark, M.D. PGY-5 Resident, UW Department of Radiology
Llew Keltner, M.D., PhD. CEO, Epistat
A key challenge for combatting infectious diseases is lack of personal protective equipment (PPE), such as masks for healthcare workers. The industry standard masks, like the N95 mask, are designed to be single-use devices, and it is very difficult to clean and sanitize them without destroying or rendering them toxic to the wearer. Currently, there are no commercially available products or methods to effectively and efficiently disinfect PPE.
Use of a commonly available and safe chemical in hospitals, methylene blue (MB), combined with light, could potentially disinfect PPE quickly, inexpensively, and without causing them to become ineffective or unsafe. If this is possible, it would significantly increase the amount of available protection gear.
According to Professor Lendvay, “If successful, this technique would have near-term and long-term global effects and could revolutionize PPE use in healthcare, military, and civilian environments. In the near term, this technique could extend the life of PPE to help alleviate the severe and devastating shortage of PPE that will only intensify as the current pandemic continues to spread across the globe.” The combination of these advances and further research and development has the potential to greatly reduce healthcare costs, decrease mortality, stop the spread of COVID-19, and prevent future pandemics.
“CoMotion has rapidly and thoroughly shepherded the potential technology transfer that can emanate from this work,” said Professor Lendvay. “Ryan Buckmaster and Patrick Chinkiwsky have turned our multiple ideas for potential IP into provisional patent applications. They have effectively channeled an Amazon grant to our project and they have been an engaged partner in enabling our success.”
Read more about this project on the UW Department of Urology website here.