Applying an air curtain to reduce surgical smoke concentration

Xuan Huy Ninh, Hung Yu Tzeng, Tak Wah Wong, Yu Ting Wu, Yao Lung Kuo, Ming Yeng Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Operation room personnel are exposed to high concentrations of surgical smoke during electrosurgery and laser treatment. Surgical smoke contains viral aerosol, particulate matter, volatile organic compounds, and microorganisms. Current local exhaust ventilation control methods can be noisy, bulky, and expensive. In this study, we are the first to build a cost-effective air curtain device to remove surgical smoke. Experiments were conducted in an operating room by cutting porcine samples with electrosurgical units. An air curtain system was installed below the surgical light. We measured the particle number and mass concentrations in the breathing zone. The concentrations were recorded under four scenarios: no control, commercial smoke evacuation pencil, low-velocity air curtain, and high-velocity air curtain. Results indicate that the air curtain reduces the concentration of particulate matter and produces less noise than commercial smoke evacuation pencils. The particle number removal efficiencies for the smoke evacuation pencil, low-velocity air curtain, and high-velocity air curtain were 88.52%, 70.79%, and 91.29%, respectively. The respective PM2.5 removal efficiencies were 90.92%, 85.38%, and 97.99%. Thus, installing an air curtains under surgical lights is a promising method for reducing surgical smoke and protecting medical personnel.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1947-1953
Number of pages7
JournalAir Quality, Atmosphere and Health
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Sept

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pollution
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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