KNOXVILLE – A technology based on an invention developed at the University of Tennessee was selected by the 2010 Better World Report as one of the top examples from across the globe of the positive impact of academic innovations on quality of life. UT was one of 14 academic institutions selected from a field of more than 100 submissions.
The featured technology is a plasma that can be created from ordinary air at standard pressure and ambient temperatures and can be used to purify air, sterilize equipment and even textiles. Compared to prior plasmas used for sterilization, it is much more versatile because it does not require expensive specialty gasses or the use of extreme heat, and it does not have to occur in a vacuum.
Advanced Plasma Products (APP), a startup company headquartered in Knoxville, licensed the patented technology from the University of Tennessee Research Foundation (UTRF) and has produced its first product, the TriClean Pro.
The TriClean Pro is a standalone air purification system capable of sanitizing the air more than three times per hour in a 4,000-cubic-foot room. This sanitization capability is ideal for health care facilities where patients are more susceptible to infection, such as surgical suites, intensive care units, medical waiting rooms, nursing homes and surgical centers. It also has extensive application in other market areas such as athletic locker rooms, hotel rooms and animal care facilities.
“APP is a great success story for how companies can take advantage of the discoveries emerging from the University of Tennessee,” said Randy Gentry, president of UTRF. “They have done a wonderful job in taking the basic technology and turning it into a product that is having a positive effect on human lives.”
In addition to the TriClean Pro, APP has also developed a chamber disinfection product to periodically and automatically clean medical waste loading chambers in pneumatic waste movement systems and is exploring other applications including surgical instrument sterilization units and an athletic equipment disinfection product. These applications have not been possible in the past due to the limitations of the prior technology.
The Better World Project was launched by the Association of University Technology Managers in 2005 to increase public understanding of how academic research and technology transfer benefit individuals and communities around the world. Technology transfer is the process that takes a discovery made in a laboratory and turns it into a product that makes its way to the marketplace. This is the second time that a company based on UT technology has been selected for the report.
UTRF is an independent 501(c)3 organization that promotes the commercialization of UT intellectual property, among other work. UTRF’s Technology Transfer Office assists UT researchers with the necessary resources to increase invention attractiveness for licensing to existing or startup businesses. UTRF serves all seven campuses and institutes across the State of Tennessee. For more information, go to http://utrf.tennessee.edu.
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