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Original research
Analysis of the physical and microbiocidal characteristics of an emerging and innovative UV disinfection technology
  1. Gabriele Messina1,
  2. Davide Amodeo1,
  3. Alessio Corazza2,
  4. Nicola Nante1,
  5. Gabriele Cevenini3
  1. 1Department of Molecular and Developmental Medicine, University of Siena, Siena, Italy
  2. 2SAES Getters SpA, Lainate, Italy
  3. 3Department of Medical Biotechnologies, University of Siena, Siena, Italy
  1. Correspondence to Professor Gabriele Messina, Department of Molecular and Developmental Medicine, University of Siena, Siena, Italy; Gabriele.messina{at}


Introduction Surface disinfection is one of the key points to reduce the risk of transmission both in healthcare and other public spaces. A novel UV-chip disinfection technology is presented. Technological, photonic and microbiocidal characteristics are evaluated taking as reference an ultraviolet-C (UV-C) LED source of equivalent radiant power.

Methods The UV chip has a circular radiating surface with a diameter of 1.3 cm, emitting UV cold light at about 5 mW and driven current of about 80 µA. Four bacterial strains were used to conduct the microbiological tests at 4°C and 60°C to evaluate the bactericidal performance of the two technologies under the same operating conditions.

Results Spectral differences were found between the UV-C LED and the chip, with an emission curve strictly around 280 nm and a broader band centred around 264 nm, respectively. Between-technology microbiological inactivation levels were comparable, achieving total abatement (99.999%) in 8 min at 7.5 cm.

Discussion The UV chip exhibits unique properties that make it applicable in some specific contexts, where UV-C LEDs present the most critical issues. Besides, it is portable and exhibits a broad spectrum of UV wavelengths with a peak where the maximum microbiocidal efficacy occurs. Important issues to be addressed to improve this technology are the high voltage management and the too low energy efficiency.

Conclusion This cold emission technology is virtually unaffected by changes in ambient temperature and is particularly useful in short-distance applications. Recent developments in technology are moving towards a progressive increase in the chip’s radiant power.

  • environment and public health
  • health services research
  • infections

Data availability statement

Data are available on reasonable request. The data presented in this study are available on request from the corresponding author.

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Data availability statement

Data are available on reasonable request. The data presented in this study are available on request from the corresponding author.

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  • Contributors Guarantor, GM; Conceptualisation of the study, GM and GC; methodology, GM and DA; software acquisition of photonic measurements, GC; resources for obtaining the chip, AC; data curation, GM, GC and DA; writing—original draft preparation, GM, GC and NN; writing—review and editing, DA; supervision, GC; funding acquisition for the tests, AC. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript.

  • Funding This research was partially funded by SAES Getters S.p.A.

  • Disclaimer The company SAES Getters S.p.A. worked in cooperation with LightLab Sweden for setting up and describing the UV chip technology used for the work, but had no role in the test design, data collection or analysis, decision to publish, or preparation and discussion of the test results in the manuscript.

  • Competing interests GM and GC are co-founders of the Company egoHEALTH which received SAES Getters S.p.A. funds to cover part of the investigation.

  • Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting, or dissemination plans of this research.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.