Integration of light and ventilation in the operating room - ILLO

Countering postoperative wound infection by reducing particles possibly carrying bacteria at the surgical site

In an operating room, the ventilation system is installed in the ceiling and provides clean air to the surgical site. The surgical lighting system that is placed beneath the ventilation causes turbulence, which may introduce particles carrying bacteria to the surgical site. Furthermore, there is a general trend to use implants in all surgical disciplines and all implants increase the risk of bacteria being transferred to the wound.

Solution: integrated surgical lighting and ventilation system

The Lighting Group of the Electrical Engineering & Energy Technology (ETEC) department, the department of Mechanical Engineering (MECH) of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), the Light&Lighting Laboratory of KU Leuven and UZ Brussel are developing an integrated surgical lighting and ventilation system that eliminates the disturbance of the laminar flow by the lighting system. As a result, less particles (possibly carrying bacteria) enter the wound zone: a reduction of 66% based on particle tracking in simulations.

To give an example, in Europe there is/are yearly
• 30 000 000 surgeries
• between 1% and 4% surgical site infections
• extended stay in the hospital of 7 days
• cost for health care between 1.5 billion € and 19 billion €

Competitive advantages

  • reduces particles of 66%, compared to traditional LAF ceilings and thus reduces post-operative infections
  • complies to the technical standards for lighting and ventilation
  • is based on simulations and validations in a controlled environment
  • is more easy to integrate in hybrid operating rooms

Interested parties can contact

VUB TechTransfer
Hugo Loosvelt
[T]: +32 (0)2 629 38 65 or 22 07

Electrical Engineering & Energy Technology (ETEC)
Valery Ann Jacobs
[T]: +32 (0)498 687 558

UZ Brussel
Marc Diltoer

IP status

Patent granted

Download a printable pdf here