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A global innovation ‘Made in Austria’: disinfection using light

19. January 2016

The Austrian company Ortner Reinraumtechnik has developed a process whereby both clothing and those wearing it are disinfected quickly and safely through the use of light.

Ortner Reinraumtechnik GmbH manufactures devices and equipment for cleanrooms in the life sciences, pharmaceutical, microelectronics and food sectors, as well as for research institutions. The company supplies airlock processes and disinfection systems that provide fast, safe and reliable decontamination solutions.

Until now the greatest source of danger in setting up a cleanroom remained unresolved: people. Workers in vulnerable areas in particular (such as intensive care units and quarantine stations or in the food processing industry) often have to protect themselves (i.e. the person) or the product against germs and bacteria. Working with a range of research partners, Ortner has developed Photodynamic Disinfection certified Technology (PDcT), a new technique that requires just a few minutes to safely disinfect both clothing and wearer without exposing either to any danger.

This speedy disinfection process is achieved using natural means, with the aid of a particular dye in the clothing and the exposure to light. When a light source is applied, photodynamic disinfection uses ‘singlet oxygen’, a more energetic and reactive form of the gas, to destroy germs and viruses. Scientific tests have confirmed a controlled bacterial kill rate of 90% in 3.7 minutes. This effectiveness can be increased to as much as 99% by varying the light intensity and length of exposure.

The airlock in combination with this new technology allows people working in cleanroom environments to enter different classes of cleanroom and safety zones without having to change their clothing on each occasion.