Germicidal device for breathing apparatus that mitigates airborne pathogens

Lead investigators: Boris Aronzon, MD, and Daniel Betterly, MD

Unmet need

Both military and civilian populations risk exposure to a multitude of airborne dangers, including biological warfare pathogens, such as weaponized anthrax; deadly infectious agents, such as smallpox; and naturally occurring pathogens, such as influenza, SARS and COVID-19.(1)

During the current pandemic, and in future outbreaks, medical personnel are directly exposed to viral contamination or viral load in the course of their work and require more robust protection than is widely available today.

While the military has developed various types of biohazard protective gear, and multiple devices have been invented and are being used to decrease exposure of medical personnel, the inventors believe their Germicidal Device is a less expensive, more efficient solution. It better protects the wearer and others, such as medical staff, and it is compatible with most medical equipment and conventional biohazard protective gear.(2)


This invention addresses both military and civilian need for an easily and inexpensively manufactured solution that will decrease or eliminate pathogen/viral load in the breathing circle/equipment and better ensure that the pathogens are expelled into ambient air.

  • Military and Defense Opportunity: The device can be used in conjunction with biohazard suits to decrease or eliminate the risk of contamination from biological warfare pathogens or other hazardous environmental conditions.
  • Civilian Opportunity: This device offers a unique solution to protect professionals in the medical environment when they handle HEPA filters, airway or breathing equipment such as medical respiratory tubes, and associated medical equipment, including ventilator and anesthesia machines. It offers active elimination of pathogens and viruses when used independently or in combination with HEPA filters. It can be issued as a component of personal protective equipment (PPE) suiting or used in the private sector, providing individuals an opportunity to breathe clean air while on a train or airplane or in a crowded public space.

Unique attributes

  • Utilization of two different techniques to eliminate viruses, pathogens and other germs synergistically
  • Does not require replaceable filters
  • Easy maintenance
  • Superior protection for the wearer and others, such as medical staff, from viral and other pathogens exhaled by a patient; better protects against equipment contamination
  • Multiuse with low environmental impact
  • Can be commercialized by military, medical and consumer markets

Clinical applications

Suitable for use in hospital-care settings as part of a PPE regimen, as well as broader settings, such as:

  • ICUs
  • PACUs
  • Patient transports
  • Military applications in contaminated environments
  • Consumer protective devices

Stage of development

Conceptual prototype.

Intellectual property

Provisional patent filed September 2020.

Collaboration opportunity

Seeking investment or partner for further development.


Institutional contact: George C. Prendergast, PhD, LIMR President and CEO, 484.476.8475, [email protected]

L2C Partners contact: Merle Gilmore, 610.662.0940, [email protected]


  1. Vatansever, F, et. al. “Can biowarfare agents be defeated with light?” Virulence. 4;8:796-825.
  2. Biohazard suits protect the wearers against exposure to hazardous biological material in the environment by providing a sealed environment that completely isolates wearers from the hazardous conditions and prevent ingress of potentially contaminated ambient air.