With the ongoing spread COVID-19 (Coronavirus), access to a steady supply of N95 respirator masks and PPE is currently lacking. This forces many workers in the medical fields to reuse facial masks which involves sanitizing and cleaning them. Although, if cleaning is done incorrectly it does very little to protect workers from aerosolized virus from the sputum of infected patients. Sputum being defined as the mixture of saliva and mucus coughed up by the respiratory tract. There are other softer, but lower quality masks being used due to the inefficient supply of N95 masks, but these still allow micro-droplets from a coughing patient to easily pass through. Therefore, the US federal government has asked that healthcare professionals cleanse and reuse of existing N95 masks. The only problem was, a hospital approved UV germicidal irradiation (UVGI) protocol for masks was not readily available. Until now….
Analytik Jena has developed the CL-1000 & CL-3000 UV Crosslinker Irradiation Systems, a shortwave UVC device that can be used to effectively disinfect N95 masks. Shortwave ultraviolet (UVC) light has germicidal properties that respond directly to DNA/RNA microorganisms. DNA/RNA absorb ultraviolet light at approximately 260 nm, which effectively damages the DNA/RNA structure. Although microorganisms are naturally built to repair the damage, these repair mechanisms cannot keep up with high-intensity UV doses, which ultimately inactivates or kill the microorganism. The Crosslinker system is an alternative to chemical disinfectants and produces a cumulative UV dosage of 1J/cm2, which is considered to be beyond the required level need for disinfection.
The units provide near uniform UVC light with a ~10% coefficient of variation and less than 2 mJ/cm2 difference between the highest and lowest reading. Most importantly, the units offer real-time monitoring of UVC dosage to assure reproducible dosing irrespective of space and time. The programmable microprocessor constantly monitors the UV light emission. Irradiation stops exactly when the programmed energy is achieved, therefore the effect of decreasing UV intensity due to bulb aging is compensated for. The UVP Crosslinker combines the latest UV technology with high quality manufacturing: stainless steel UV exposure chamber, protective quartz disk on the UV sensor cell, and a highly resistant and easy-to-clean keypad and housing. The large display provides a series of predefined methods, making the UVP Crosslinker an easy to use yet powerful instrument for immobilization of nucleic acids to membranes. The programmed data are shown on the LED display.