Could StarStream save the NHS millions?

New technology provides better levels of cleaning than traditional detergents

StarStream

A new piece of technology, developed by the University of Southampton, that uses just cold water and bubbles to provide better levels of cleaning than detergents became the star of the BBC’s The One Show this week, when it was suggested that it could save the NHS millions of pounds.

The innovative StarStream, which is now being commercialised and licensed by Cardiff-based ultrasonic cleaning equipment manufacturers, Ultrawave, wowed Dr Michael Moseley on the programme as the technology’s inventor, Professor Tim Leighton, put the product through its paces.

He demonstrated how the revolutionary hand-held device could provide a better, more cost-effective and more environmentally-friendly way of cleaning in the NHS. At present, the NHS uses detergent-based, high-temperature cleaning systems that cost hundreds of millions of pounds every year.

StarStream uses cold water, charged with ultrasound and bubbles, pushed through a nozzle to clean surfaces without any need for detergents or additives - and using very little power. It can be used to effectively clean a wide variety of items from medical devices to intricate car parts.

Ultrawave has been working with the University of Southampton to develop the product. Designed and patented by Professor Tim Leighton and Dr Peter Birkin at Southampton, the technology won The Royal Society’s prestigious Brian Mercer Award for Innovation in 2011.

Damon Beach, industrial sales manager at Ultrawave, said: “We believe this is the most-exciting development in cleaning technology for many years. It will revolutionise how we clean in the future.

“We’ve enjoyed working with the incredible scientists at the University of Southampton to develop innovative products like StarStream. It’s great to see this fascinating technology, developed and manufactured here in Wales, being given recognition on a national level. The science behind it and what it can do is really something that needs to be seen to be believed.”

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