Metalmark has licensed their catalytic nanoarchitecture technology and plans to develop it into a proprietary air purification system for effective removal of pollutants and pathogens, including viruses like SARS-CoV-2 from indoor and in-cabin air. The all-fields exclusive license, granted to the company by Harvard’s Office of Technology Development (OTD), will allow Metalmark to expand the platform technology’s reach by incorporating different types of catalysts for multiple functions and applications.
Sissi Liu, CEO and Co-Founder, Metalmark said: “Existing air purification systems can typically filter out particles down to about one micron in size. Recent research has shown that smaller particles like volatile organic compounds [VOCs], ultrafine particulate matter, and airborne viruses can slip through and contaminate indoor air. Our approach to air purification is completely different: rather than filtering substances out, our system uses catalysts to break down toxic pollutants and inactivate viruses. We are using this technology to solve the problem of dirty air both inside and outside, to make all environments safer for humans and animals.”
Tanya Shirman, VP of Material Design, Metalmark said: “Catalytic converters have been used for decades to remove pollutants from factory smokestacks and cars, but they have never been used for indoor air purification because they are expensive, require high temperatures and controlled operating conditions to work well, and are vulnerable to loss of activity over time. Now that smaller indoor air particles have been linked to heart attacks, pulmonary diseases, neurological disorders, and even cancer, it is clear that the problem of air purification needs to be addressed. Metalmark aims to provide a unique solution that overcomes the challenges of indoor air purification and avoids the shortcomings of traditional catalysts.”
Don Ingber, Founding Director, Wyss Institute said: “Watching this project evolve over the last few years from its original biological inspiration into a product that is poised for commercialization has been enormously exciting for all of us at the Wyss Institute, and we look forward to seeing how this technology can help in the global battle for sustainability.”