USF professor patent could help slow Coronavirus spread in China

Coronavirus

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — As the death toll officially passes the 1,000 mark and with Americans still trapped in quarantine overseas…the Coronavirus outbreak grows more dire by the day.

But a professor at the University of South Florida may hold the key to helping slow its spread.

Dr. Yogi Goswami is an inventor and distinguished professor of chemical and biomedical engineering at USF. He created a unique technology that doesn’t just filter air, it actually kills viruses and other pathogens in the air too small for filtration.

“As the air goes through it, any viruses in the air get completely destroyed,” Goswami explained from his office on campus.

Now he wants to figure out how to get it to the epicenter of the Coronavirus epidemic.

The inspiration for the invention came from his son, Dilip, who suffered from asthma and allergies at birth.

“We were able to take care of his food allergies,” Goswami explained. “But I found there were certain things in the air I could not take care of.”

20 years after Goswami created his patented technology, using photoelectrochemical oxidation to create free radicals that destroy pollutants, his son turned patent into profit. The two Goswamis co-founded Molekule, a company that sells their unique devices for disinfecting the air.

Dilip called his father a couple of days ago with concerns about a friend’s parents, both doctors working in Wuhan, China. Goswami’s technology could help slow the spread of the virus, especially in hospital settings, where doctors and nurses face serious risk of infection.

“We don’t know how to do, it but we are willing to help,” Goswami said.

Goswami has been reaching out to lawmakers as well as the CDC in his effort to connect with individuals who could help get their devices in the right hands.

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