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Title: Efficacy of atmospheric pressure dielectric barrier discharge for inactivating airborne pathogens

Atmospheric pressure plasmas have gained attention in recent years for several environmental applications. This technology could potentially be used to deactivate airborne microorganisms, surface-bound microorganisms, and biofilms. Here, the authors explore the efficacy of the atmospheric pressure dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) to inactivate airborne Staphylococcus epidermidis and Aspergillus niger that are opportunistic pathogens associated with nosocomial infections. This technology uses air as the source of gas and does not require any process gas such as helium, argon, nitrogen, or hydrogen. Moreover, the effect of DBD was studied on aerosolized S. epidermidis and aerosolized A. niger spores via scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The morphology observed on the SEM micrographs showed deformations in the cellular structure of both microorganisms. Cell structure damage upon interaction with the DBD suggests leakage of vital cellular materials, which is a key mechanism for microbial inactivation. The chemical structure of the cell surface of S. epidermidis was also analyzed by near edge x-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy before and after DBD exposure. Our results from surface analysis revealed that reactive oxygen species from the DBD discharge contributed to alterations on the chemistry of the cell membrane/cell wall of S. epidermidis.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [3] ;  [3] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [6] ;  [6] ;  [7]
  1. Science and Technology Corporation, Moffett Field, CA (United States)
  2. Open Univ., Milton Keynes (United Kingdom). Universities Space Research Association, Materials Engineering
  3. Univ. of Puerto Rico, San Juan, PR (United States). Dept. of Chemistry
  4. SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States). Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource
  5. Open Univ. Milton Keynes (United Kingdom). Materials Engineering
  6. NASA Ames Research Center (ARC), Moffett Field, Mountain View, CA (United States)
  7. Universities Space Research Association, Mountain View, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
AC02-76SF00515
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology. A, Vacuum, Surfaces and Films
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 35; Journal Issue: 4; Journal ID: ISSN 0734-2101
Publisher:
American Vacuum Society
Research Org:
SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES; 60 APPLIED LIFE SCIENCES
OSTI Identifier:
1374386