RESEARCH ARTICLE


Plasma Assisted Decontamination of Bacterial Spores



Spencer P Kuo*
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Polytechnic University, Brooklyn, NY, USA


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© Spencer P. Kuo; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/), which permits unrestrictive use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Polytechnic University, Brooklyn, NY, USA; E-mail: skuo@duke.poly.edu


Abstract

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.