Killing of S. mutans bacteria using a plasma needle at atmospheric pressure

J. Goree, Bin Liu, D. Drake, E. Stoffels - Adamowicz

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172 Citations (Scopus)
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Streptococcus mutans (S. mutans) bacteria were killed using a low-power millimeter-size atmospheric-pressure glow-discharge plasma or plasma needle. The plasma was applied to a culture of S. mutans that was plated onto the surface of an agar nutrient in a Petri dish. S. mutans is the most important microorganism for causing dental caries. A spatially resolved biological diagnostic of the plasma is introduced, where the spatial pattern of bacterial colonies in the sample was imaged after plasma treatment and incubation. For low-power conditions that would be attractive for dentistry, images from this biological diagnostic reveal that S. mutans was killed within a solid circle with a 5-mm diameter, demonstrating that site-specific treatment is possible. For other conditions, which are of interest for understanding plasma transport, images show that bacteria were killed with a ring-shaped spatial pattern. This ring pattern coincides with a similar ring in the spatial distribution of energetic electrons, as revealed by Abel-inverted images of the glow. The presence of the radicals OH and O was verified using optical-emission spectroscopy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1317-1324
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Plasma Science
Issue number4, Pt. 2
Publication statusPublished - 2006


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