The COVID-19 Pandemic exposed a lot of vulnerabilities society was unprepared for. One of the most significant vulnerabilities is Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) that health workers rely on to protect themselves from pathogens when they’re treating COVID-19 infected patients. Masks were never intended to be re-worn, and they were not designed for how airborne contagious this virus is.
Hospital best practices were quickly established around the world to decontaminate masks, and some of the most effective methods include aerosolized hydrogen peroxide, UV lights, bleach, ozone, and simply placing one’s mask in a paper bag for seven days so the virus can die on its own. These methods all have their own drawbacks, including unpleasant odors, and most of these methods degrade the integrity of a mask’s filter over several uses. Additionally, most of these require electricity or are too expensive to be utilized by low resource communities around the world.
So in April 2020, a research group commissioned a study to evaluate methods for mask and N95 decontamination and reuse for frontline healthcare workers. They have evaluated dry heat as one method, and the other was a method proposed by James Chen and Thomas Lendvay, using Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) or Photodynamic Inactivation (PDI) methods, where COVID-infected masks are treated with a highly-diluted Methylene Blue in water solution and placed under bright light for an interval of time. 13 universities and labs have been part of this study, including the University of Washington and Seattle Children's Hospital through Tom's, Jim's, and Tanner Clark's involvement. Others include Belinda Heyne (and the Heyne Lab of University of Calgary), Christopher Mores (and the Milliken Institute of George Washington University’s virology lab), and David Evans (and the Li Ka Shing Institute of Virology at the University of Alberta), who are all part of the Singletto Labs consortium.
The Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology medical journal has published the peer-reviewed DeMaND study. Singletto’s Dr. Tom Lendvay served as Lead Author.
Mike Butler spent over two decades in leadership at Providence Health, growing such from a $2 billion organization to $25 billion. Upon recently retiring, Mike knew he wanted to find ways to continue impacting the lives and health of others. Now at Singletto, Mike is on a mission to bring the novel Singletto technology to market – in healthcare and beyond. But, it’s not just a passion project … upon learning about the technology, Mike felt a moral obligation to get it in as many hands as possible. More with recently retired Providence Health President Mike Butler…
Dr. Belinda Heyne was recently featured in a CBC piece covering the DeMaND study’s findings and the life-giving potential of dye and light.
The World Health Organization (WHO) just added Methylene Blue and Light as a supported Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) decontamination method in the “Rational use of personal protective equipment for COVID-19 and considerations during severe shortages” interim guidelines.