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The University of Southampton

Research project: StarStream (2016 onwards)

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From 2016 onwards, Professor Leighton continued his 30 year of research and development into processing surfaces using water carrying sound and microbubbles, specifically advancing beyond the benchtop StarStream device to by inventing more capable systems to clean using cold water without additives. In 2018 the company Sloan Water Technology Ltd. (of which he is Director and Inventor-in-Chief) bought his patents from the University of Southampton to continue R&D and expand towards technology that would make StarStream obsolete.

Professor Leighton’s two teams, at Sloan Water Technology Ltd.  and the University, work together to explore ways in which his inventions can bring about benefit on a societal scale, with R+D and device invention, and product development conducted at Sloan Water Technology Ltd., and validation of the abilities of his devices to operate (e.g. remove infections and contaminants) conducted by his teams at the University. Example projects include:

  • its incorporation into standard plumbing (e.g. taps/faucets);
  • its adoption in healthcare practices (by testing its effectiveness on, for example, decontaminating surgical instruments, particularly high value items such as duodenoscopes that cannot withstand repeated hot washes in aggressive chemicals);
  • its development into affordable, portable devices for the developing world and catastrophe zones (such as portable solar-powered nozzles that can be dropped into a bottle of drinking water to turn it into a first-rate wound cleaner).

This takes us to the concept of StarSaver, a portable nozzle that can fit onto any bottle of drinking water and be powered by a solar-charged battery. StarSaver takes us towards a world where a bottle of drinking water can also be used as an effective emergency wound cleaner, for rescue workers, drones or vehicles that cannot carry heavy packs of water, soap and disinfectant. It can be used to support rural medicine and maternity services, and provide emergency cleaning for wounds and foodstuff when flooding contaminates water supplies.

A portable StarStream nozzle will fit any drinking water bottle
A portable StarStream nozzle will fit any drinking water bottle
Rock climber
African woman carrying water
Mother and child
Air ambulance
Remote controlled helicopter

Related research groups

Acoustics Group




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