It is able to reduce the risk of contagion from Covid-19 in a room by at least 90%. Here’s what a little one can do little box called E4Shield in about three minutes. Seeing it like this, everything comes to mind less than a “biodefense” device, as they call it in Electronics, a company specializing in electronic countermeasures for military use and cybersecurity. At its headquarters on Via Tiburtina on the edge of Rome, they show us what looks like a pocket router to connect to the Web. And instead, once switched on, according to the 150 tests conducted on the Sars-Cov-2, E4Shield sanitizes the environment in which we find ourselves. He succeeds thanks toemission of electromagnetic frequencies that cause the structure of the virus present in the air to oscillate until it breaks. This operation then repeats every thirty seconds.
“It all started thanks to an intuition of one of our mechanical engineers, Nicola Pasculli,” he says Enzo Benigni, born in 1938, at the head of the Elettronica Group together with his sons Domitilla and Lorenzo. “During the lockdown he began to look in his free time with his colleagues for a way to ensure the safety of those who could never have the vaccine for health reasons, starting with his son. He then wondered if his knowledge could be the basis for a solution. It wasn’t our field, but innovation often works like this: it arises when a discipline is applied to a different sector than usual“. A study published on Nature of 2015 had already related frequencies and mechanical resonances of particles. In Electronics it seemed a promising path given the skills in electromagnetic waves.
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Two years later, after a first preview of the technology, we are at the official presentation of the device. Starting from September it will be put on the market by E4Life, an alliance formed by Elettronica and the Australian real estate group Lendlease which also operates in the infrastructure field. Two versions with different capacities: the pocket one of eight centimeters per side reaches about three meters, the fixed one of fifteen centimeters instead covers up to 50 square meters. They are powered through a USB-C socket like any smartphone. The prices should be 250 and 500 euros respectively, but at the beginning they will be devices intended for the business market.
“E4Shield spreads electromagnetic waves that split the structure of the viral particles,” he confirms Antonio Manna, electronic engineer, responsible for the European and Italian research programs in Electronics. “When the virus interacts with an oscillating electromagnetic field, its structure is deformed until it breaks and in this way it is prevented from replicating. It exploits a high frequency, today almost exclusively the prerogative of military technologies, and in the future it can be set for target other pathogens “. Probably through an app they are already working on in Electronics. The idea is to arrive at a real frequency library to fight different viruses.
It was not easy for a company involved in military countermeasures to venture into such a complex sector. It has been a long journey in which, for the development and to verify the effectiveness, they have been involved the Luigi Sacco Hospital in Milan, the scientific department of the Politecnico del Celio in Rome, the Politecnico di Milano, the New York University and ViroStatics, a branch of the Research Institute for Genetic and Human Therapy, American non-profit that boasts the distinction of having created the first case of functional care for an HIV patient. Not only: E4Shield has passed and obtained CE and SAR certifications (Specific Absorption Rate). This means that the radiated power is not harmful to humans. With a range comparable to that of a wi-fi access point that is below the exposure limits set by the 2001 law.
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In the Electronics meeting room, we could not verify the effectiveness. We could not have done it in any case without having the appropriate equipment, yet the list of institutions involved and the two certifications seem sufficient proof for the first device that sanitizes without the need for people to leave the room. Compared to ultraviolet, it is not afraid of shadow cones, it is stopped only by metal surfaces and liquids.
“It does not replace the vaccine or the masks, it does not cure a person who has been infected and it does not disinfect, but it helps a lot in closed environments. You just think about a classroom in a school or the premises of a restaurant, “he adds Domitilla Benigni, who shares the position of CEO of Elettronica with his father. One wonders why no one else has thought of it before. “I also wondered”, concludes Enzo Benigni. “In fact, in Japan they have tried something like this without reaching the certifications. For us, the initial push was to protect a child during a pandemic. In short, the moment has counted as well as the context. “The fear was in fact born in a company with knowledge that goes beyond the sectors in which it traditionally applies them, so much so that it was able to make a difference with a solution that the world did not yet have. .