Rapid development of automated antiviral lighting systems for use as a COVID‑19 prevention tool

Guzzo, Christina | $50,000

Ontario University of Toronto 2020 NSERC Alliance COVID-19 Grant

Safe Antivirus Technologies Inc. (SATI) is developing novel antiviral lighting systems (AVLS) that utilize ultraviolet light (UV) as a powerful antiviral tool to automatically sanitize large public spaces. The AVLS will enable commercial and institutional buildings to significantly reduce the transmission of viruses from commonly touched surfaces, offering enhanced protection during the COVID‑19 pandemic and future outbreaks. The AVLS will also supply the standard “white-light” room lighting, enabling this unique lighting system to be readily installed in place of fluorescent tubes and LEDs in existing light fixtures. Exposure to UV wavelengths is a well-described sanitization strategy for viruses in the scientific literature and can achieve rapid inactivation of a broad range of viruses via a mechanism of non-specific DNA/RNA damage. SATI is applying sanitizing UV light to the COVID‑19 pandemic by developing the AVLS as a rapidly deployed, infection control intervention against SARS-CoV-2. This project will provide all of the antiviral efficacy testing for the development and commercialization of the AVLS, performed under the supervision of Dr. Christina Guzzo, an Assistant Professor of Virology at the University of Toronto Scarborough. Dr. Guzzo’s team will perform tests to delineate the appropriate UV illumination parameters for optimal antiviral activity, and subsequent field testing to ensure durable antiviral activity in representative commercial sites where the AVLS can be deployed. The AVLS includes patent-pending technologies and will be the first lighting system on the market to include real-time feedback controls, with UV light that is fully integrated with required room illumination, enabling ease of installation in offices, boardrooms, public washrooms, airplanes, subways, buses and other high-traffic areas to minimize the spread of viruses in everyday interactions. This project is critically needed to validate antiviral efficacy and guide commercial design of the AVLS. Upon completion of this project the AVLS can be rapidly deployed to improve occupational health and safety, bringing Canadians back to a safer workplace, and decreasing the likelihood of viral transmission in daily encounters.

With funding from the Government of Canada

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