Application of atmospheric pressure nonthermal plasma for the in vitro eradication of bacterial biofilms

Mahmoud Y. Alkawareek, Qais T. Algwari, Sean P. Gorman, William G. Graham, Deborah O'Connell, Brendan F. Gilmore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Citations (Scopus)


The use of atmospheric pressure nonthermal plasma represents an interesting and novel approach for the decontamination of surfaces colonized with microbial biofilms that exhibit enhanced tolerance to antimicrobial challenge. In this study, the influence of an atmospheric pressure nonthermal plasma jet, operated in a helium and oxygen gas mixture under ambient pressure, was evaluated against biofilms of Bacillus cereus,Staphylococcus aureus,Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Within <4 min of plasma exposure, complete eradication of the two Gram-positive bacterial biofilms was achieved. Although Gram-negative biofilms required longer treatment time, their complete eradication was still possible with 10 min of exposure. Whilst this study provides useful proof of concept data on the use of atmospheric pressure plasmas for the eradication of bacterial biofilms in vitro, it also demonstrates the critical need for improved understanding of the mechanisms and kinetics related to such a potentially significant approach.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)381-384
Number of pages4
JournalFEMS Immunology and Medical Microbiology
Issue number2
Early online date12 Mar 2012
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jul 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Microbiology


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