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Killing of S. mutans Bacteria Using a Plasma Needle at Atmospheric Pressure

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4 Author(s)
Goree, J. ; Dept. of Phys. & Astron., Iowa Univ., Iowa City, IA ; Bin Liu ; Drake, D. ; Stoffels, E.

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

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