MRO Magazine

Ushio and Columbia University Have Entered into Exclusive License and Research Agreements for Ultraviolet Disinfection Method to Reduce Microbial Infection

June 23, 2015
By Business Wire News


USHIO INC. (TOKYO:6925) (HQ: Tokyo, President and CEO: Kenji Hamashima) today announced that the company has entered into exclusive license and research agreements for narrowband- spectrum ultraviolet light technology with Columbia University (location: New York City, USA). The aim is to promote research and development as well as productization of an Ultraviolet Disinfection Method that utilizes UV radiation within a particular wavelength range to, for example, prevent surgical site infection.

Surgical site infection due to in-hospital infection is a serious problem; more than 8,000 patients in the United States alone die from in-hospital infection, accounting for $3 billion to $10 billion in annual health care costs.

Dr. David Brenner, Director of the Center for Radiological Research at the Columbia University Medical Center, and his team have developed a disinfection system that selectively kills bacteria and viruses without damaging human cells/tissues. The system, which uses a narrowband-spectrum ultraviolet light technology — for example, the ultraviolet light technology of excimer lamps that produce radiation of a particular wavelength range — can disinfect bacteria and viruses such as MRSA, influenza, MERS-CoV, and SERS-CoV as well as viruses including the Ebola virus.

USHIO was the first company in the world to develop and practically apply excimer lamps, and has manufactured and distributed photo-cleaning products for use in the manufacturing processes of semiconductors and liquid crystal displays. The company also has recently started research on usage of excimer lamps for water processing and deodorization, and is now working on to extend the applications of far-ultraviolet light excimer lamps.

With the execution of the agreements with Columbia University, USHIO is now promoting the development of excimer lamps’ new application to prevent microbial infection in a medical setting. Clinical research in the USA, Singapore, Japan and other places around the world will start from the winter of 2015, with the aim of producing a product sometime around the year 2017. Additionally, the company aims to expand into the sanitary and healthcare fields, and create a business around a safe and foolproof system for disinfection using excimer lamps.

Narrowband Spectrum Ultraviolet Light Technology

1. Wavelength

The method uses a range of UV wavelengths, from about 200 nm to 230 nm. For example, KrBr (207 nm) and/or KrCl (222 nm) can be used, which can be created by cutting a wavelength of about 230 nm or more of far-ultraviolet light generated by excimer lamps.

This UV wavelength range, including these specific UV wavelengths, can penetrate and kill bacteria, but at the cellular level they do not reach the nucleus of human cells, and at the tissue level they will not reach the sensitive cells in the skin epidermis or the eye lens. The latest research proves that the method maintains anti-microbial advantages of conventional UV lamps while drastically reducing biological damage in human cells compared with conventional UV lamps.

Reference Materials: Comparison between USHIO’s Narrowband UV Spectrum Technology and Conventional Broadband Spectrum Technology

2. Potential Applications of the Technology

(1)   Minimize surgical-site bacterial infections, particularly from drug-resistant bacteria such as MRSA
(2) Minimize airborne and direct-contact infection of viruses, such as H1N1 (bird influenza), SARS-CoV (SARS coronavirus), MERS-CoV (MERS coronavirus), dengue, and Ebola.
(3) Treat infected chronic wounds.
(4) Add an anti-microbial function to devices such as hand dryers.


Established in 1964, USHIO INC. (TOKYO:6925) is a leading manufacturer of light sources such as lamps, lasers, and LEDs, in a broad range from ultraviolet to visible to infrared rays, as well as optical equipment and cinema-related products that incorporate these light sources. It also makes products in the electronics field (such as semiconductors, flat panel displays and electronic components) and in the visual imaging field (including digital projectors and lighting). Many of these products enjoy dominant market shares. In recent years, USHIO has undertaken business in the life science area, such as the medical and the environmental fields. See

* USHIO is a member of Global Collaboration Center for Life Innovation (Kawasaki City, Kanagawa Prefecture), and has special advisors such as Dr. John A. Norris, former Deputy FDA Commissioner, and Dr. Tan Chin Nam, former Managing Director of Economic Development in Singapore. See

USHIO is seeking a clinical research partner for this research and a business partner in the field of healthcare.

About Columbia University Medical Center

Columbia University Medical Center provides international leadership in basic, preclinical, and clinical research; medical and health sciences education; and patient care. Columbia University Medical Center is home to the largest medical research enterprise in New York City and State and one of the largest faculty medical practices in the Northeast. For more information, visit or

* Development and research related to this ultraviolet light technology at Columbia University was made possible by funding and support from the Columbia-Coulter Translational Research Partnership and through private donations.

Chie Kobayashi, +81-3-3242-1815
Corporate Communication
Fax: +81-3-3245-0589