Two high school students in Hong Kong have built a door handle that kills germs to prevent the spread of disease through hand contact.
One of the ways that ailments such as cold and flu are passed is via contact, and one of the main avenues is via door handles – a sick person coughs into their hand then uses the handle to enter a bathroom or office, depositing germs.
Others that enter the same room pick up the germs from the door handle and invite the germs into their own bodies by touching their eyes or noses.
The new door handle kills such germs on contact and can stop them from spreading.
Sum Ming Wong and Kin Pong Li focused on a mineral called titanium dioxide which is quite toxic to germs, but it hasn’t been used as an antibacterial agent much because it requires the presence of UV light, ‘phys.org’ reported.
The pair used the mineral to coat a glass tube, then they affixed an LED onto one end of the tube – it shines UV light onto the insides of the glass tube – any germs that land on the outer side are then killed by the mineral (testing showed it to be 99.8 per cent effective).
Putting the glass tube onto brackets allowed for it to be used as a door handle.
The researchers realised that hooking the handle up to an electrical outlet would be messy, so they put together a gear box that allows for capturing energy from the door opening and closing.
The energy is then sent to a battery that feeds power to the door handle, keeping it lit all the time, killing germs.