There are over 12 million reported cases of head lice in the United States each year. While there are special shampoos available that can kill lice on contact, these shampoos don’t kill eggs that may still be on the scalp after yse. In addition, there have been cases of lice becoming resistant to these medicated shampoos, making it more difficult to get rid of the pests. In order to kill both lice and eggs effectively, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany have developed an electrically charged comb.
The comb contains a high-voltage electrical current that runs through its teeth. The tips of the teeth behave like electrodes and deliver short bursts of energy to the surrounding air, breaking any nearby air molecules apart and changing them from a gas to plasma. The electricity creates high-energy molecules which can kill lice without raising the temperature, making it safe for human use.
Extensive initial testing has proved to be successful enough to kill lice completely within a single treatment, and the developers have begun distributing the comb for trials in pediatrician’s office in Germany.
(Source: Popular Science)