Could you describe the history of Crystal IS as a company?

Mark Pizzuto: Crystal IS is a US-based manufacturer of high-performance deep ultraviolet (UVC) LEDS. We were founded in 1997 to develop aluminium nitride semiconductors for creating UVC LEDs. The company was acquired by Asahi Kasei in 2011. Since then, Crystal IS has expanded its global operations and manufacturing to accommodate increased demand, which has more than doubled since 2014.

What are the current dangers of HAIs in the health industry?

Often expensive and sometimes fatal, HAIs are adding billions of dollars to the skyrocketing cost of quality healthcare. As a result, global spending on infection control is projected to grow at a rate of 6.5%, reaching $17.78 billion by 2021. One of the fastest-growing sectors includes new disinfection systems and devices, including those that employ UVC LEDs. Infections like C. difficile (C. diff) are already being fought with strategies such as strict adherence to terminal cleaning, hand hygiene and antibiotic stewardship. But further reducing infection rates depends on combatting pathogens that are becoming increasingly resistant to chemical disinfection methods. Using UVC LEDs is a good solution because it disrupts the DNA of harmful microorganisms and destroys their ability to reproduce, thereby eliminating the spread of pathogens like C. diff and MRSA. After all, neither of these pathogens have a natural defence mechanism to UVC energy exposure.

What are your Klaran LEDs, and how do they help fight these problems?

Medical OEMs can integrate LEDs into the current pointof- care hygiene protocols, reducing the risk of infection. At the same time, they can integrate UVC disinfection with existing healthcare equipment, such as portable work stations for high-touch devices like portable electronics and stethoscopes. Devices enabled with UVC LEDs not only deliver a consistent, measured dose, but also track and log disinfection. Using these devices, infection control departments and epidemiologists can monitor links between aseptic protocols and reductions in the incidence of HAIs, improving quality of care. Our Klaran Healthcare series deliver germicidal performance that is up to three times greater than that of our competitors, enabling medical manufacturers to integrate quantifiable disinfection capabilities into their products. Specifically, our Klaran LEDs provide effective and consistent disinfection power over a range of pathogens, all with minimal energy loss. The LED allows for design flexibility and low energy consumption.

More broadly, why should customers choose Crystal IS for their disinfection needs, over and above your competition in the market?

HAIs are caused by common pathogens. Each has a unique fingerprint, meaning they absorb UV photons differently depending on the wavelength. Absorbing UVC LED photons disrupts the pathogen’s DNA, rendering it harmless and unable to replicate. While each pathogen absorbs radiant energy at different wavelengths, the UVC LED’s output range of 260-270nm is considered the ‘sweet spot’ for deactivating DNA. The foundation of Crystal IS’s core technology – aluminium nitride substrates – enables more powerful, longer lifetime and more reliable LEDs at these core germicidal wavelengths than other UVC LED platforms. In addition, we offer our customers robust engineering support, helping them get their designs from proof-of-concept to commercial launch. In spring 2017, Crystal IS announced a new addition to the Klaran product line: a series of LEDs specifically dedicated to healthcare applications. The Klaran Healthcare series includes a high-powered version for handheld medical devices and two products for portable equipment.