Peking University scientists develop new allergen control method

Author: admin| published date:2014-02-14


Source: Environ Sci Technol (2014)


Allergy is one of leading human diseases, and the problem continues to emerge. Among other factors, environmental allergens such as those from dust mites, fungi, animal sources (dogs and cats) were shown to play an important role in the development of allergenic diseases. Current practices for allergen control generally involve chemical agents, which however often introduces side effects.


Now, a Peking University team led by Prof. Maosheng Yao from College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, and Prof. Jue Zhang from College of Engineering offers another effective alternative for inactivating allergens. They fabricated a portable device, which is further connected to high voltage supply. When turned on, the device continuously generates a material often called the 4th matter (atmospheric pressure cold plasma-APCP) which is composed of ions, free radicals such as hydroxyl radicals and other charged particles. When the allergens exposed to the APCP for sub-seconds, 30-80% of them lost their allergenicity. The team further demonstrated the effectiveness of the developed technology using human blood sera samples from patients sensitized to the relevant allergens. They detected much less IgE binding with those allergens treated with the technology, and they explained that the free radicals reacted with allergen epitopes.


They noted that when high plasma generation energy level is not required, the secondary pollutants such as ozone are comparable to those found in ambient air, and under such a scenario the technology can have its immediate applications even in an occupied building. They reported their results in the journal of Environmental Science and Technology on Feb 3, 2014 ( ).



Yan Wu , Yongdong Liang , Kai Wei , Wei Li , Maosheng Yao , and Jue Zhang (2014), Rapid Allergen Inactivation Using Atmospheric Pressure Cold Plasma, DOI: