"With this product we are setting standards in the development and production of aerosol measuring devices of breathing air", says Dr. Maximilian Weiß, CEO of Palas GmbH. "Latest technologies, combined with our extensive expertise in the field of aerosols, make this exhalation device particularly reliable and accurate. It can thus help to detect so-called ‘superspreaders’. This can make a decisive contribution to containment, especially during the current COVID 19 pandemic".
Palas® was scientifically advised by renowned experts such as Dr. Gerhard Scheuch, the former president of the International Society for Aerosols in Medicine, as well as by the two lung specialists Prof. Dr. Dieter Köhler and Dr. Thomas Voshaar.
For the measurement, persons to be tested breathe into the exhalation measuring device – the evaluation takes place immediately: the device shows how many particles in which size are present in the exhaled air. The virus particle size serves as an indicator for a potential disease of the tested person. So-called "superspreaders" can be detected by a high number of exhaled aerosols. Thus, the Palas GmbH makes a relevant contribution to deepen the understanding of the transmission and spreading mechanisms in current research topics.
What role do aerosols play in the transmission of diseases like COVID-19?
Aerosols are a mixture of a gas and solid and/or liquid components. While the larger exhaled droplets sink to the ground faster, smaller particles circulate in the air for longer. In its profile on coronavirus disease-2019, the Robert Koch Institute describes that aerosols produced when people speak, cough or sneeze play a role in the transmission of SARS-CoV-2: for example, when many people gather in insufficiently ventilated indoor spaces.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has also already recognized the risk of spreading SARS-CoV-2 via aerosols. In a signed statement to the WHO, some 240 scientists had pointed out that aerosol transmission has a significant impact on the current pandemic situation.
The Palas GmbH contributed its long-standing expertise in the measurement of aerosol particles to the development of the new exhalation measuring device. Already in July 2020, the company developed a new mask test laboratory together with the independent testing service provider TÜV NORD and BASF on the innovation campus of BASF in Shanghai, in which Palas® testing devices are applied. The initiative thus supports the German Federal Ministry of Health in the procurement of masks from China for medical and non-medical purposes.
The application filed with the European Patent Office aims at patent protection in the international market. The product launch is planned for September 2020. The patent is pending; a patent application is generally published 18 months from the filing date and only after this period, the holder is entitled to rights from the patent application.
The Palas GmbH is a leading developer and manufacturer of high-precision devices for the generation, measurement and characterization of particles in the air. With numerous active patents Palas® develops technologically leading and certified fine dust and nanoparticle measuring devices, aerosol spectrometers, generators and sensors as well as associated systems and software solutions. Palas® was founded in 1983 and employs about 70 employees at the company headquarters in Karlsruhe. Palas GmbH is a subsidiary of Brockhaus Capital Management AG, which is listed in the Prime Standard at the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (BKHT, ISIN: DE000A2GSU42).
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