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The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted in shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE), underscoring the urgent need for simple, efficient, and inexpensive methods to decontaminate masks and respirators exposed to severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). We hypothesized that methylene blue (MB) photochemical treatment, which has various clinical applications, could decontaminate PPE contaminated with coronavirus.
The 2 arms of the study included (1) PPE inoculation with coronaviruses followed by MB with light (MBL) decontamination treatment and (2) PPE treatment with MBL for 5 cycles of decontamination to determine maintenance of PPE performance.
MBL treatment was used to inactivate coronaviruses on 3 N95 filtering facepiece respirator (FFR) and 2 medical mask models. We inoculated FFR and medical mask materials with 3 coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2, and we treated them with 10 µM MB and exposed them to 50,000 lux of white light or 12,500 lux of red light for 30 minutes. In parallel, integrity was assessed after 5 cycles of decontamination using multiple US and international test methods, and the process was compared with the FDA-authorized vaporized hydrogen peroxide plus ozone (VHP+O3) decontamination method.
Overall, MBL robustly and consistently inactivated all 3 coronaviruses with 99.8% to >99.9% virus inactivation across all FFRs and medical masks tested. FFR and medical mask integrity was maintained after 5 cycles of MBL treatment, whereas 1 FFR model failed after 5 cycles of VHP+O3.
MBL treatment decontaminated respirators and masks by inactivating 3 tested coronaviruses without compromising integrity through 5 cycles of decontamination. MBL decontamination is effective, is low cost, and does not require specialized equipment, making it applicable in low- to high-resource settings.
The first demonstration of laser action in ruby was made in 1960 by T. H. Maiman of Hughes Research Laboratories, USA. Many laboratories worldwide began the search for lasers using different materials, operating at different wavelengths. In the UK, academia, industry and the central laboratories took up the challenge from the earliest days to develop these systems for a broad range of applications. This historical review looks at the contribution the UK has made to the advancement of the technology, the development of systems and components and their exploitation over the last 60 years.
Pancreatic islet cell tumours and carcinoids are rare, and patients with these tumours form a small part of the case-load of the anaesthetist who regularly undertakes anaesthesia for major abdominal surgery. Insulinoma is the commonest functioning pancreatic neuroendocrine tumour (NET). Gastrinoma is the second commonest functioning pancreatic neuroendocrine tumour, and contrasts with insulinoma in several respects. The absence of symptoms is characteristic of non-functioning tumours. VIPoma is a rare tumour. Secretion of Vasoactive Intestinal Polypeptide produces watery diarrhea. Major upper abdominal surgery involves a bilateral subcostal incision, may last for several hours, requires dissection of lymphatic tissue and causes fluid shifts. It occasionally results in severe blood loss. A. Holdcroft has described a pre-operative checklist for the additional problems of the patient with a NET. Pre-operative investigations include pulmonary function tests, ECG, full blood count, clotting screen, electrolytes and liver function tests.
We studied on a nanometer scale the tribological properties of thin silicon carbide films on Si(100) wafers and stainless steel. The coatings were fabricated from a sintered SiC target by pulsed ArF laser deposition at substrate temperatures between 20 °C and 1000 °C. Amorphous films resulted at low deposition temperatures while nanocrystalline structures developed at high deposition temperatures. An atomic force/lateral force microscope was employed to characterize the film topography and the friction behavior. The microhardness was determined from measurements utilizing a depth-sensing nanoindentation instrument. The SiC films on Si(100) exhibit a smooth surface with an average roughness Ra of a few nanometer, the amorphous films being even an order of magnitude smoother. No appreciable differences were found in microhardness and friction coefficient between amorphous and nanocrystalline films. On stainless steel, amorphous SiC coatings were obtained for deposition temperatures up to 500 °C. Their surface relief portrayed the grain boundaries of the underlying steel substrate, reflecting the ballistic nature of the deposition process. No stoichiometric films were obtained above 500 °C as the silicon from the growing film quickly dissolved in the steel substrate.
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