CEPID Redoxoma

RIDC Redoxoma

Startup creates UVC-radiators to eliminate Sars-CoV-2 from objects and environments

BioLambda has a technological partnership with RIDC Redoxoma
PorBy Maria Celia Wider
• CEPIDRIDC Redoxoma
São Paulo, Braszil

With the COVID-19 pandemic advancing, scientists around the world are trying to find vaccines, treatments, and cures for the disease, while the population defends itself with isolation measures and disinfection and decontamination practices. With consolidated experience in the therapeutic and germicidal use of light, the startup BioLambda has developed three different types of equipment that emit ultraviolet C (UVC) radiation for the decontamination of masks, objects and surfaces, and environments. BioLambda Científica e Comercial Ltda is a company focused on applications of Biomedical Optics.

“To guarantee the microbicidal efficacy of our equipment, we have two main parameters: the optical power for the area being irradiated, that is, the irradiance; and the exposure time with this irradiance, which is the UV dose. We use UVC of 253.7 nm (nanometers). It is the peak UVC emission we get with these lamps, with the greatest microbicidal efficacy, whether for bacteria and parasites or DNA and RNA viruses, such as Sars-CoV-2, explained Caetano P. Sabino, founder of BioLambda.”

The spectrum of ultraviolet radiation is classified by the wavelength as UVA (320-400 nm), 95% of the radiation that reaches Earth; UVB (280-320 nm), 5% of the radiation, responsible for sunburn; and UVC (200-280 nm), which is almost all absorbed by the ozone layer and is the most harmful ultraviolet radiation to health.

The constituent bases of DNA and RNA absorb light in the UVC range. These molecules, when they absorb light, go to the excited state and can make a photo-addition reaction with nearby molecules, generating photoproducts that distort the structure of DNA or RNA, inhibiting the functions of this genetic material.“The lamps of the equipment developed by BioLambda have an emission spectrum at the genetic material maximum absorption, and this is what makes the efficiency so high”.

The explanation comes from Professor Maurício S. Baptista, from the Laboratory of Photoinduced Processes and Interfaces, from Instituto de Química, USP, and a member of RIDC Redoxoma, who has a long-standing technological development partnership with Caetano Sabino. Recently, they developed smart phototherapy equipment to treat localized infections, including the treatment of the diabetic foot, with support from FAPESP’s Innovative Research in Small Business Program (PIPE). This project has the participation of doctor João Paulo Tardivo, from FUABC - Hospital de Ensino Padre Anchieta and RIDC Redoxoma, who has extensive experience with the treatment of the diabetic foot.

Scientific experience, says Sabino, was fundamental for the development of other high precision products. BioLambda produces equipment for irradiation of both in vitro cells and animal models, and also for clinical studies. “Today we have a worldwide permeation of this equipment for scientific research. I believe that very few Brazilian companies sell equipment for scientific research to Harvard and MIT, in the United States; to Portugal, Japan, France, and even to Africa and Australia. We are on the five continents with these technologies,” he said.

Equipment against COVID-19

Startup creates UVC-radiators to eliminate Sars-CoV-2 from objects and environmentsBioLambda’s line of equipment against COVID-19 includes the UVMasks, developed exclusively for the decontamination of N95 or cloth face masks. Four masks can be disinfected at a time, for five minutes, for a total of 960 masks per day for each device.

The manual version of the equipment is the UVSurface. “We used the lamp with the highest power density on the market for this size, so we can have a very fast and effective process. The exposure time needed to inactivate more than 99% of viruses is about 1 second,” Sabino said. The UVSurface can be used to decontaminate objects such as phones, keyboards, cash, door handles, mail, grocery shopping, etc.

And to disinfect environments, the company created the UVair, basically a polished stainless steel chamber, with three lamps inside and an exhaust fan. The air is pulled over the top, passes through a filter, enters the chamber with a very high UV intensity, and exits underneath, already decontaminated.

For now, BioLambda is authorized to sell equipment to industries and companies in general and expects the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) authorization to supply to hospitals and clinics. “We have many sponsorships for donation to public hospitals, which could not be carried out because of Anvisa. There are more than 100 devices from donations sponsored by Vale do Rio Doce, Usiminas, and BRF ”.

Before COVID-19, Caetano Sabino and his partners Arthur P. Nogueira and José Tort Vidal were already aligned with UV technologies. “We were developing germicidal UVC technology for industrial application, in partnership with Colgate Palmolive. It is a photopasteurizer for the decontamination of liquids, both water and inputs. Also, with BRF, which is the largest chicken exporter in the world, we are taking the first steps to implement a system to decontaminate the surface of the conveyor belts on which the production line passes”, says Sabino. “We were prepared and when the pandemic started to break out in the world, we decided to dive in and we developed these three lines of equipment in one month.”