Plasma Assisted Decontamination of Bacterial Spores

Plasma Assisted Decontamination of Bacterial Spores

Spencer P Kuo, * Open Modal
Authors Info & Affiliations
The Open Biomedical Engineering Journal 25 Jul 2008 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1874120700802010036


The efficacy and mechanism of killing bacterial spores by a plasma torch is studied. Bacterial-spore (Bacillus cereus) suspension is inoculated onto glass/paper slide-coupons and desiccated into dry samples, and inoculated into well-microplate as wet sample. The exposure distance of all samples is 4 cm from the nozzle of the torch. In the experiment, paper slide-coupon is inserted inside an envelope. The kill times on spores in three types of samples are measured to be about 3, 9, and 24 seconds. The changes in the morphology and shape of still viable spores in treated wet samples are recorded by scanning electron and atomic force microscopes. The loss of appendages and exosporium in the structure and squashed/flattened cell shape are observed. The emission spectroscopy of the torch indicates that the plasma effluent carries abundant reactive atomic oxygen, which is responsible for the destruction of spores.