ERLANGER, Ky. — Oliver Lawal frequently travels around the world for work. He said that’s probably how he caught the Coronavirus.
During his recovery, the Northern Kentucky business owner designed something he believes can help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“I was actually recovering from COVID(-19). I think I caught it sometime late February, early March,” Lawal said.
Like everyone else, Lawal spent two weeks at home in quarantine.
“I know it is different for everyone. So there was the physical, the fever, the cough, for me the breathing was pretty bad and I wasn’t sure what my worst day was going to be,” Lawal said.
Lawal is a business owner. He founded Aquisense Technologies, almost five years ago. They create products that clean water, air, and surfaces with ultraviolet light-emitting diode technology.
Having gone through illness, Lawal said he saw the need to help others.
“As a business leader, what you don’t want to do is react unnecessarily,” Lawal said. “Our core business is good. We need to we’re in water treatment infection control and then I got but we have a lot of inquiries, a lot of people coming to us saying we can use UV, please make us something.”
While in quarantine, hopping on video calls, Lawal created a rough design on what he calls the Pearl Surface.
Lawal said it's the first UV-C LED disinfection surface designed for healthcare workers. The company was able to acquire materials from Mazak Corporation in Florence and attached UV-C LED systems on top of a box.
“Go outside on a really hot day for two hours and you're going to be sunburned,” Lawal said. “That's what we’re doing, but instead of taking sunlight, we’re generating that UV light in LED. It’s not in the visible range, it’s in the UV range and it’s really, really powerful.”
The light technology allows for reuse of N95 face masks and other PPE.
“Partly it's about if you have a mask how can you make it last longer so that you can keep your costs in check or even just be able to get them and so by extending the life of that PPE,” Lawal said.
Lawal said the box can disinfect three N95 masks at a time in a matter of 20 minutes or less. He added that the technology can also be used on any high touch surfaces such as phones, tables, or keys.