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The University of Southampton

Research project: StarSteam (2016 onwards)

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After 7 years of research and development (recorded on the Starstream research project page) into cleaning using cold water without additives, in the summer of 2016 the first StarStreamTM product, the StarStream One, will be released by Ultrawave Ltd., manufacturing under licence to the University of Southampton.

Project Overview

Meanwhile, research at the University continues to look at further ways to use StarStream technology, through:

  • 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






Part 1 - November 2011 - Royal Society Premier Award for innovation for cold water cleaning invention.

Part 2 - April 2012 - Ultrawave launch StarStream as "most exciting development in cleaning technology for many years".

Part 3 - December 2012 - StarStream wins 2012 Institute of Chemical Engineers Award for Water Management and Supply.

Part 4 - December 2012 - Royal Society presents StarStream to HRH the Duke of York.

Part 5 - 2012-2013 - StarStream on TV shows in three countries - Germany, Italy and the UK.

Part 6 – August 2014 - Industry finds that StarStream cleans '1000 times better than water'

Part 7 – September 2014 - StarStream receives the international award ‘Best New Product of the Year’

Part 8 – June 2015 - The first commercial StarStream prototype appears on BBC1`s "The One Show"

Part 9 – July 2015 - Prof Tim Leighton highlights need to tackle superbugs in invited addresses to the first RCUK Research Innovation and Grow conference, including a demonstration of StarStream

Part 10 – September 2015 – Stream removes dental bacteria and cleans bones, skin and surgical steel

Part 11 – September 2015 – Why we need more than just new antibiotics

Part 12 – November 2015 – StarStream’s cold water cleaning provides another tool to combat antimicrobial resistance

Part 13 – December 2015 – NAMRIP launch conference is addressed by Dame Sally Davies (Chief Medical Officer, UK Gov) and Prof Guy Poppy (Chief Scientific Adviser, Food Standards Agency)

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