A new study has shown that a revamped model of LouseBuster is more effective in removing head lice on children.
"For a louse, it's like sticking your head out a window at 100 miles an hour; they're going to get dried out," says University of Utah biology Professor Dale Clayton, senior author of the study and a founder of Larada Sciences, a university spinoff company that sells or leases the LouseBuster to schools, camps, medical clinics and delousing businesses.
The new study of 56 louse-infested children and adults - soon to be published in the January 2011 issue of the Journal of Medical Entomology
- found 94.8 percent of lice and their eggs, known as nits, were dead after treatment with the LouseBuster.
The original LouseBuster prototype proved effective in a study published in November 2006 in the journal Pediatrics.
But it was noisy, wouldn't plug into home electrical outlets and got tangled in curly hair. It looked like a cumbersome canister vacuum with a hose on it, and blew warm air through a comb-like applicator.
After the first study, thousands of people with louse-infested children contacted Clayton and the University of Utah seeking the device, even though it was only a research prototype and was meant for eventual use by school nurses and other delousing professionals, not private individuals. It took three more years for the revamped LouseBuster to hit the market after gaining U.S. Food and Drug Administration clearance as a medical device. It was patented in September 2010.