POLITICS & INSTITUTIONS - ECONOMY

Lux tech could extend the life of masks & PPE



Many countries are experiencing shortages of masks and other personal protective equipment as a result of the coronavirus Shutterstock

Many countries are experiencing shortages of masks and other personal protective equipment as a result of the coronavirus Shutterstock

According to a press release issued on 18 May, Molecular Plasma Group has joined forces with the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology to demonstrate the potential use of its atmospheric pressure plasma technology. The tech allows the chemical characteristics of any surface to be permanently modified and offers a gentler alternative to aggressive sterilisation technologies currently in use, which may lead to material degradation.

MPG, which is a 2016 spin-off from List and Belgian public research institute Vito, has received economy ministry support for a first test phase using model viruses expected to last 18 weeks.

If successful, the technology could go a long way in easing the huge and pressing demand for personal protective equipment for healthcare professionals, which the World Health Organization's chief said at the end of March was "one of the most urgent threats to our collective ability to save lives." In some hospitals, the shortage has become so acute, they have resorted to 3D printing face visors.