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Local company AquiSense has developed new sterilization technology for face masks and PPEDavid Holthaus A company in Erlanger has adapted its technology to disinfect masks and other personal protective equipment for health care workers. AquiSense Technologies, which developed ultraviolet LED disinfection technology to sanitize water, has launched a product to sterilize N95 face masks and other PPE so they can be reused.

The product is called the PearlSurface 24G9 and the company says its compact size and simple operation make it useful in hospital settings, nursing homes, ambulances, police and fire departments, factories and food preparation locations.

This week, the company met with representatives from St. Elizabeth Healthcare and the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce to provide more information on the product and the technology. Also present were representatives from Confluence, a collaboration of local organizations and businesses interested in clean water, and Florence-based machine tool company Mazak, says AquiSense spokesman Mitch Hansen.

The company says it is offering the product under current FDA enforcement relief regulations to deal with the COVID-19 crisis and is simultaneously submitting a premarket approval application.

“We accelerated our product development pipeline in response to immediate global needs for reliable reuse disinfection products,” says CEO Oliver Lawal.

The company says it has expanded its manufacturing capabilities, doubled the size of its clean room, increased the number of assembly bays and hired new employees. In 2016, AquiSense was acquired by Nikkiso, a Tokyo-based manufacturer of medical devices and other products.

The company says the product uses UV-C light, which the International Ultraviolet Association says has been used for disinfection for over a century. UV-C radiation is absorbed by DNA and RNA genetic codes, changing their structure.

The organization warns against using such light on the human body, saying it can cause severe burns, skin cancer and eye damage.