Inactivation of Viral Particles and Other Pathogens Using Bulk Sterilization

Non-Toxic Disinfectant

At a Glance

Researchers at Colorado State University have developed compositions, methods, and apparatus for inactivating infectious disease pathogens, including the COVID-19 virus, by exploiting the unique property of the photosensitizer riboflavin and UV light to selectively inactivate bacteria and viruses by directed damage to nucleic acids. The nature of the photosensitizer (riboflavin) provides for low toxicity and thus easy handling, distribution and processing even under austere conditions.


Riboflavin, or vitamin B2, is a naturally occurring compound and an essential human nutrient. Studies have demonstrated that riboflavin, when exposed to visible or UV light, may be used to inactivate pathogens. In addition, the antimicrobial activity of UV irradiation includes sporicidal and virucidal effects. The ability to exploit these process has proven effective against a wide range of pathogens.


  • Photochemical, riboflavin, is inexpensive, non-toxic, and does not pose safety or environmental concerns


  • Disinfect a wide variety of substances, surfaces, equipment, etc.
Last Updated: April 2022

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Steve Foster