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Plasma Lysis for Identification of Bacterial Spores Using Ambient-Pressure Nonthermal Discharges

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1 Author(s)
Birmingham, J.G. ; MicroStructure Technol., Inc, Vancouver, WA

Atmospheric-pressure nonthermal plasmas have demonstrated rapid lysis of bacterial spores such as Bacillis subtilis after a few minutes of ionized-gas exposure. This paper is focused on comparing the ionized-gas treatment of spores on a surface (or dry lysis) with typical sonication of spore suspensions. Surprisingly, the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) recovered by plasma processing was larger and intact compared with conventional sonication processes used to disrupt spores. Most importantly, the ionized-gas lysis technique recovered only the DNA from the interior of the spore, rendering any nucleic acids found on the spore coat unavailable for replication processes used for identification. Plasma processing behaved as the controllable electronic equivalence of DNAse-an enzyme that consumes DNA. The rapid lysis of bacterial spores and other cells by ionized gases has led to incorporating plasma pretreatment with pathogen detection instruments such as mass spectrometers. To this end, the identification by mass spectrometry of the extracted proteins from plasma-lysed spores facilitated the discovery of a novel detection approach. Unique identifiable proteins and nucleic acids associated with each Bacillus specie are made available by plasma treatment to facilitate detection

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Plasma Science, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:34 ,  Issue: 4 )