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Swine flu epidemic inspires student's Amulet hand sanitizer

Eighty per cent of all diseases are passed on through human contact, yet 64 per cent of the British population don't wash their hands after coughing or sneezing.

Student Laura Hodge (22) created Amulet, a refillable, aluminium spray sanitizer, with the aim of developing a method of hand cleaning with a difference.

The idea came to her while working on an industrial placement in Covent Garden during the swine flu outbreak. She was told to clean her hands alcohol gel frequently to prevent the virus from spreading.

However Laura thought there was a more effective way of dealing with the problem.
“The first few times we used the gels, they were a novelty but after a couple of days we all forgot. So I decided to create a product that everyone wanted to touch and run through their hands.“

The result, Amulet, is a refillable aluminium spray sanitizer ergonomically shaped like an egg. The design is inspired by the work of Romanian sculptor Constantin Brâncusi, a forerunner of modernist art, and includes thermochromic elements that change colour with body heat.

“Those who have seen it and held it love the shape and automatically start moving it through their hands, which is exactly what I hoped to achieve,“ she said. “It is particularly aimed at commuters to use.“

To use it, you simply depress the button on the base to squirt the sanitizer onto your hands and then you rub the Amulet over your hands. The more effectively its used, the more it  changes colour.

Laura added, “Its shape and the soothing colour-changing elements are designed to encourage people to hold it and its expensive look should make it more likely to be cherished by its user.“

Amulet will be on show at the Made in Brunel design exhibition at the Business Design Centre, London N1 on June 8, 9, 10 2010.

For further information, contact the Brunel University Press Office:
Or, Laura Hodge: email