Ushio and Columbia University Have Entered into Exclusive University and Research Agreements for Ultraviolet Disinfection Method to Reduce Microbial Infection
– Preventing Microbial Infection at Surgical Sites –


USHIO INC.(HQ: Tokyo, President and CEO: Kenji Hamashima) today announced that thecompany has entered into exclusive license and research agreements for narrowband-spectrum ultraviolet light technology with Columbia University (location: NewYork City, USA). The aim is to promote research and development as well as productizationof an Ultraviolet Disinfection Method that utilizes UV radiation within aparticular wavelength range to, for example, prevent surgical site infection.

Surgicalsite infection due to in-hospital infection is a serious problem; more than8,000 patients in the United States alone die from in-hospital infection,accounting for $3 billion to $10 billion in annual health care costs.

Dr. David Brenner, Director of the Centerfor Radiological Research at the Columbia University Medical Center, and histeam have developed a disinfection system that selectively kills bacteria andviruses without damaging human cells/tissues. The system, which uses a narrowband-spectrumultraviolet light technology — for example, the ultraviolet light technology ofexcimer lamps that produce radiation of a particular wavelength range — can disinfectbacteria and viruses such as MRSA, influenza, MERS-CoV, and SERS-CoV as well asviruses including the Ebola virus.

USHIO wasthe first company in the world to develop and practically apply excimer lamps,and has manufactured and distributed photo-cleaning products for use in themanufacturing processes of semiconductors and liquid crystal displays. Thecompany also has recently started research on usage of excimer lamps for waterprocessing and deodorization, and is now working on to extend the applicationsof far-ultraviolet light excimer lamps.

With the executionof the agreements with Columbia University, USHIO is now promoting thedevelopment of excimer lamps’ new application to prevent microbial infection ina medical setting. Clinical research in the USA, Singapore, Japan and otherplaces around the world will start from the winter of 2015, with the aim of producinga product sometime around the year 2017. Additionally, the company aims toexpand into the sanitary and healthcare fields, and create a business around a safeand foolproof system for disinfection using excimer lamps.

Narrowband Spectrum Ultraviolet Light Technology

1. Wavelength
The methoduses a range of UV wavelengths, from about 200 nm to 230 nm. For example, KrBr (207nm) and/or KrCl (222 nm) can be used, which can be created by cutting a wavelengthof about 230 nm or more of far-ultraviolet light generated by excimer lamps.
This UVwavelength range, including these specific UV wavelengths, can penetrate andkill bacteria, but at the cellular level they do not reach the nucleus of humancells, and at the tissue level they will not reach the sensitive cells in theskin epidermis or the eye lens. The latest research proves that the methodmaintains anti-microbial advantages of conventional UV lamps while drasticallyreducing biological damage in human cells compared with conventional UV lamps.

2. Potential Applications of the Technology
(1) Minimize surgical-site bacterial infections,particularly from drug-resistant bacteria such as MRSA
(2) Minimize airborne and direct-contact infectionof viruses, such as H1N1 (bird influenza),
      SARS-CoV (SARS coronavirus), MERS-CoV(MERS coronavirus), dengue, and Ebola.
(3) Treat infected chronic wounds.
(4) Add an anti-microbial function to devices such ashand dryers.


Fig.1. Experiment involving UV radiation of MRSA and human cells

Figure 1. The graph on theleft compares the killing of MRSA and human cells when using a conventionalbroad-spectrum germicidal UV lamp. Cell killing is shown relative to zero-fluencecontrols, expressed as surviving fraction, or as logs of cell kill (-log10[survivingfraction]), produced by different fluences of UV exposure from a conventionalbroad-spectrum germicidal UV lamp (peak emission: 254 nm). Data are shown formethicillin- resistant S. aureus cells (MRSA strain USA300) and for AG1522normal human fibroblasts. The graph on the right shows the corresponding data whenusing our 207-nm excimer lamp.

Fig. 2. CPD and 6-4PP measurement of UV radiation experiment by UV207nm and UV254nm to human tissue model

Figure 2. Yields of pre-mutagenic skin DNA lesions inepidermal keratinocytes, measured in a 3-D human skin tissue model, induced byconventional broad-spectrum germicidal UV radiation (■) and by 207-nm UV light (◆).
A:cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers (CPD); B: pyrimidine-pyrimidone 6-4photoproducts (6-4PP). In both graphs, zero-fluence control measurements(<1%) have been subtracted from the data.
Buonanno, M.; Randers-Pehrson, G.; Bigelow A.W.;Trivedi, S.; Lowy, F.D.; Spotnitz, H.M.; Hammer, S.M.; Brenner, D.J. 207-nmUV Light – A Promising Tool for Safe Low-Cost Reduction of Surgical SiteInfections. I: In Vitro Studies.PLoS ONE, DOI: 101371/journalpone0076968. 2013 PMCID: PMC3797730

About Columbia University Medical Center

Columbia University MedicalCenter provides international leadership in basic, preclinical, and clinicalresearch; medical and health sciences education; and patient care. ColumbiaUniversity Medical Center is home to the largest medical research enterprise inNew York City and State and one of the largest faculty medical practices in theNortheast. For more information, visit or .

*Developmentand research related to this ultraviolet light technology at ColumbiaUniversity was made possible by funding and support from the Columbia-CoulterTranslational Research Partnership and through private donations.

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