Science

Kill Lice with Plasma Comb

No fancy chemicals to pass lice? Then, Fraunhofer researchers have the solution: an electric comb, which kills the teases with plasma.

Louse is not equal to lice
Louse is not equal to lice: the picture on the right shows a head lice from humans (Pediculus humanus) and left a louse of the chimpanzees (Pediculus schaeffi – ref. BMC Biology).

The plasma comb of the researcher works as follows: a high-voltage generator is located in the of the battery-powered device housing. It emits high-voltage pulse to the comb teeth that serve as electrodes. In the intervening air is ionized into a plasma – this is a state in which killing process is concluded, if energy is fed into a gas or gas mixture. There is no chance that plague will survive.

“Already after one time sift half of wingless insects is dead,” says Wolfgang Viöl, researchers at the Fraunhofer for thin film Institute and surface engineering (is) in Braunschweig. “Within one day one is off the Quälgeister.”

Cold plasma spare hair and scalp

How to kill lice
Lice comb of the Fraunhofer researchers: the tines are used as electrodes. Between them is a cold plasma, which kills lice and nits.

But the plasma does not harm scalp or tissue? No, because the Ridge creates only very short notice the high voltage, so that only the tiny electrons accelerate, but not heat up the heavy gas particles. The temperature of the plasma room level can be adjusted. The result: the cold plasma kills the lice and their nits, but spared the hair and scalp. A practical technology, which the Fraunhofer researchers have already protected by a patent. So already scrapes can be treated with cold plasma.

Plasma comb is about to come in small batches on the market, its relatively small demand for this product. However use of it is crutial in many situations.

The lice comb should come as a cosmetic product in small batches on the market. “The plasma comb what already presented in regional pediatric medical practice and can be used like a normal comb”, explains Viöl. It is therefore suitable for allergy sufferers and asthma tics. You want to be spared the problem due to aggressive chemical agents. In addition, the absence of chemical substances means a lower burden for the environment. And last but not least: “It adjusts the shape and spacing of the tines, pets can harm other animals”

Kill Lice with Plasma Comb__
Lice family: Baby larva, egg, larva, adult lice in addition (from left to right), a euro-cents for size comparison.

Head lice can affect everyone, especially children are often affected but between three and ten years. The blood-sucking parasites spread that particularly in kindergartens and primary schools, where children put their heads together. Parents access then usually to shampoos, lotions, gels and chemical medicines, to expel the vampires.

The problem: The eggs of lice – the so-called “Nissen” mostly survive this treatment, so you must repeat the procedure after a week. Chemical agents, they can become resistant to top it all off. The plasma comb, however, promises a solution of the problem on the same day.

Lice also make Heidi Kandan non stop

Because the supermodel betrayed in a U.S. talk show that she already struggle had for the second time with head lice. “It was horrible,” said the 42-year-old. The plague started with her daughter, which is scratched on the head until Kandan discovered Nissen.