Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

UC engineers develop light chamber “anticoronavirus”

Innovation seeks to protect the lives of those who are fighting the disease and foster the development of new ideas to face the peak of the pandemic.

Publish date: 08/05/2020

A group of Faculty and students from UC Engineering developed a UV light chamber to inactivate the propagation of the Covid-19 in the clothing of health workers from hospitals.

The “anticoronavirus” project is part of the interdisciplinary working commission fostered by the UC Vice rectory of Research, with the support of UC Engineering, the Institute of Computer and Mathematical Engineering, and the Institute of Biological and Medical Engineering.

“We have detected urgent needs among health workers, such as a lack of resources to sterilize their working clothes. For example, some put their clothes in a plastic bag when they finish their shift, and then put it in a backpack or purse to wash it at home, transforming it in a possible contagion vector”, says Professor Patricio Lillo, who leads this innovation.

To guard the lives of those fighting the disease, and support the advancement of new ideas to face the peak of the pandemic, the specialist anticipates that they are testing a UV light chamber to disinfect workers’ clothes, shoes, and non-disposable items.

“The technological solution is a sustainable and fast measure to implement. Each machine has the majority of its components in the local market, and it is possible to elaborate up to four units per week” highlights the UC Faculty.

The UV light chamber can remove virus and bacteria without using water, significantly reducing the time, effort and costs involved in cleaning every day clothes. This is thanks to its design, developed in our university’s labs.

For the upcoming months, the engineers expect to create UV equipment with more specific functions, according to the needs of public and private services. The idea is to extend its benefits to transport and supermarket workers, among others.

Currently, one of the UV light chambers is working in the Sótero Del Río Hospital, which serves communities from the southeast area of Santiago. In the next few days, UV light chamber will also begin to work at other units of the Public Assistance Emergency Hospital, and the UC Christus Clinical Hospital in Santiago.


Clothes: irradiate nursing aprons during the changes of shifts (30 minutes approximately)

Footwear: disinfect the shoes of medical teams when they arrive or leave the hospital

Other non-disposable items: sanitize goggles, facemasks and bibs.






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