Back in February, we wrote about Altapure‘s adaptation of military sonar technology to sterilize clinical environments. During our recent trip to northeast Indiana, we had the opportunity to visit Altapure’s home on the campus of the University of Notre Dame.
Since our last mention, Altapure has been able to not only get their product on the market, but is already working on a newer version of the device that clocks in at 1/3 the size of the current model but has the same power.
In essence, Altapure’s device is an ultrasonic nebulizer that creates a thick fog that permeates through a clinical environment and eradicates harmful pathogens, such as MRSA. However, unlike a fog machine you’d see at a rave party, this machine creates a fog that’s thicker than pea soup. The droplets that make up the dense cloud are sub-micron in size, giving them a tendency to spread further and more quickly and cling to surfaces. Also, each cubic foot of cloud contains three to five trillion droplets, making the cloud too dense for any pathogen to survive. According to Carl Ricciardi, Altapure’s co-founder and president, basically any liquid can be aerosolized; our tour demo used distilled water (the women in our group appreciated the free facial), but Altapure favors using non-toxic and environmentally-friendly acetic acid (which is essentially vinegar), or a low 0.88% concentration hydrogen peroxide. It’s interesting to note that Altapure is marketing their technology as a platform and not a product, as they hope that it’ll be integrated into a number of different applications.
One interesting application that Ricciardi mentioned was agriculture/food safety. Concerned that your salad may be teeming with listeria? Place it in a room with an Altapure device, and in just a matter of minutes, it’ll be pathogen-free and ready to eat! Maybe one of these days we’ll see restaurants with these sorts things in the kitchen.
More info: Altapure…