How to stop the chain of infection: TDK and Edera Safety collaborate on the containment of viruses through innovative dry cold plasma decontamination method

A cooperation between the Silicon Alps partners TDK Electronics GmbH and EDERA Safety results in highly efficient decontamination with low effort and minimal space requirements

participating companies: 

TDK Electronics GmbH & Edera Safety

contact persons: 

Markus Puff, TDK Electronics GmbH
markus.puff@tdk-electronics.tdk.com
+43 3462 8002325 

Thomas Saier, Edera Safety
t.saier@edera-safety.com
+43 660 4067777 

photo credit:

TDK Electronics GmbH 

An effective and important method to contain viruses is the cleaning and disinfection of contaminated surfaces and objects. TDK has developed an innovative, space-saving product enabling effective and clean disinfection with low effort ‚Äď even at locations that are difficult to access.

In cooperation with the company and Silicon Alps partner Edera Safety, the Explore Kit (plasma generator, control unit & app) has been created, that offers vast possibilities for testing and analyzing product ideas. It thus offers an excellent basis for a great variety and fields of application.

Interrupt the chains of infection

Ebola, zika virus, avian influenza and now SARS CoV-2. ‚ÄúThis will haunt and catch us the next couple of years in temporal intervals that will get shorter and shorter.‚ÄĚ With these words, Dr. Gerald Geyer, MBA and medical director of the Elisabethinen Krankenhaus Graz, calls both the attention and concern of the audience during his speech at the Cross Cluster Talk on June 24, 2020. He takes the recipients on a journey through several viral epidemics and pandemics of the past 100 years in an appeal to companies, hospitals, research institutions and the industry to prepare for these circumstances.

From his perspective, future viral epidemics are just a question of time and therefore it is crucial to find out how we can stop chains of infection as fast as possible.  While the cleansing and disinfection of contaminated surfaces and objects remain an important measure to contain viruses, dealing with contaminated surfaces difficult to access poses a real challenge.

With the CeraPlas¬ģ element, TDK has developed an innovative and dry cold plasma decontamination method that is also apt to solve these issues. In an especially gentle technique, it only requires low effort and minimal space, which allows for efficient decontamination of a great variety of sensitive surfaces. This is further approved by conducted studies in cooperation with INP Greifswald and Medical University of Graz, because with CeraPlas ¬ģ, different kinds of bacteria and especially the SARS CoV-2 virus can be inactivated on objects.

But how can this excellent technology be transferred from potential clients and users to the product, if TDK simply functions as a technology- and component-supplier? 

In the course of a Sprint Design Workshop in cooperation with EDERA Safety, it had been worked out how this innovation could be brought closer to future clients in the most simple and clearest way. The result is the Explore Kit, an ECO system that consists of the basic components of a plasma generator, a control unit and an app. With the Explore Kit, different product ideas can be tested and analyzed and offer an excellent base for possible fields of application. Since the product is already developed to 90%, those interested may put their focus only on product idea, the product design, the certification and the license agreement.

If your company is interested in cooperation with TDK, further information can be found at the following link.

https://www.tdk-electronics.tdk.com/2974010/products/product-catalog/cold-plasma-technology/ceraplas-explorekit-co-create?wt_mc=inst.CeraPlasEK

In Techtalk with EDERA Safety 

How did the project emerge and evolve? 

It was the beginning of the first lockdown. Many companies were forced to short-time work, the economy was stagnating in some branches. TDK made use of that time to apply existing technologies and contribute to the fight against the pandemic. With the innovative cold plasma-disinfection method, TDK was able to make it happen almost instantly. 

 How did that go about and what exactly were the steps taken? 

There was a fundamental question: How can we interrupt chains of infections and thus limit the spread of SARS-CoV-2?  One important measure to contain viruses is the cleansing and disinfection of surfaces and objects. But when it comes to sensitive and contorted surfaces that are difficult to access, this poses a challenge. With such conditions, the cold plasma-disinfection is clearly superior to conventional disinfection methods.  

 Which obstacles did you have to overcome? 

In times of crisis, it is hard to find companies that want to make investments. Hardly anyone wanted to take the additional risks if the economical future is uncertain. Because of its B2B experience, TDK was aware that a successful implementation with a cooperation partner has to show a high degree of completion in the initial phase. That is why TDK continually kept working on the project and created a platform that can be used right away for final product development. 

Which contributions came from EDERA Safety, which from TDK? 

In cooperation with INP Greifswald and MedUni Graz, TDK has carried out and surveyed the efficiency of cold plasma disinfection. It had been found that with the so-called CeraPlas¬ģ technology many bacteria and especially the SARS CoV-2 virus can be inactivated on objects. This discovery alone has opened enormous potential.¬†¬†

 What has EDERA Safety especially qualified as a project partner? 

One key competence of EDERA Safety is Sprint Design Workshops. Different problems are brought up and solutions are worked out within a short time. The purpose was to make access to this innovation as easy as possible for interested parties. The result is Explore Kit, an ECO-System, which consists of the basic components plasma generator plus control unit and a specially developed app. With the Explore Kit, different product ideas can be tested and analyzed and offer an excellent base for possible fields of application. 

What are concrete fields of applications of the product and can it be integrated in our daily lives? 

With CeraPlas ¬ģ, SARS CoV-2 viruses can be inactivated on different surfaces. This cold plasma‚Äďdisinfection method thus offers a wide field of application from daily to medical objects.¬†¬†

Do you plan further developments? If so, in which direction? 

Because of the enormous potential of this technology we definitely will continue with development. There really are no limits to creativity. 

Do you plan to cooperate again in the future? 

We would be happy to continue our cooperation. After all, TDK is an internationally successful enterprise with enormous know-how. 

At Silicon Alps Cluster Рwhich project would you like to realize with further partners or what are your expectations on cooperation partners, respectively? 

EDERA Safety is an interdisciplinary design studio with a focus on product development, industrial design and electronics. With the help of agile methods and cloud-based applications, projects can experience a drastic reduction of the ‚Äútime-to-market‚ÄĚ cycles.¬†¬†

There are many interesting companies in the Silicon Alps Cluster we hope to do some interesting projects with in the future. We are sure there are many advantages that can be taken within such networks.