By Young Kim
2020 has been a year like no other in my life as a researcher. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced changes that I could never have imagined.
For one thing, the pandemic required changes in our lab. We had times where we could not be in the lab, which is our playground, and other times where we were happy coding and analyzing data with a computer at home.
While it’s been challenging at times, as researchers we got to know that changes and uncertain times give us a moment to reflect what we do as researchers and to think about the motivation of all hard work. Frankly speaking, we don’t have clear answers…
In the meantime, our team wanted to do something that can be directly beneficial to the communities as a small step.
The COVID-19 pandemic has shed new light on the needs for improved disinfection methods, both for individuals and facilities.
We came up with an airborne disinfection method – using food-coloring dyes – to be applied to the entire body and rooms for sterilization purposes and lowering the risk of infection.
This could potentially neutralize viruses lingering in the air using aerosols of FDA-approved food-coloring dyes. Aerosols are tiny bits of solid or liquid matter suspended in air.
We are working with a federal agency to test this and other technologies forward. Once again, we feel fortunate that we could continue our journey of scientific exploration even in a limited manner.
Young Kim is an associate professor of biomedical engineering at Purdue University.