By Kristy Dorsey

A Scottish engineer who has developed a door handle that kills germs within seconds is preparing to launch the product into the corporate and higher education market.

Ian Graham, who set up Glasgow-based Glana in 2017, has developed the Axiene handle to cut down on the spread of pathogens including Covid, E-Coli and Staph-A in multi-occupancy facilities such as offices, care homes, offices and universities. Using a system where the touch surface on the handle is continually treated, Mr Graham said trials have shown that it kills more than 99.9 per cent of bacteria and viruses.

“When someone touches the Axiene handle, they’re touching a continually disinfected and safer surface as Axiene kills any bugs within seconds and keeps the handle protected for both you and the next person,” he said. “This means that you’re not transmitting your bugs or picking up bugs from the person before you, which helps prevent infection spread.”

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With statistics having shown that touching one door handle is the equivalent of 10,000 handshakes, Mr Graham hopes to promote Axiene as a way to help facilities safely re-open following pandemic restrictions. During a trail at East Kilbride’s Hairmyres Hospital in 2017, tests uncovered less than 10 cultures on the Axiene handle versus more than 18,000 on a standard handle in an area of equivalent traffic.

A trained mechanical engineer, Mr Graham began his development as a hobby project several years ago out of “engineering curiosity”. The arrival of the Covid pandemic brought the development of the business into sharper focus.

With backing from Shancastle Investments and Strathclyde University, Glana has commissioned production of an initial run of 2,000 Axiene handles.

“We are looking forward to working with business and institutions to help fight infections and help everyone fell more confident about returning to normal living,” he added.