Cold atmospheric plasma is a viable solution for treating orthopedic infection: A review

Ly Nguyen, Peng Lu, Daniela Boehm, Paula Bourke, Brendan F. Gilmore, Noreen J. Hickok, Theresa A. Freeman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Bacterial infection and antibiotic resistance are major threats to human health and very few solutions are available to combat this eventuality. A growing number of studies indicate that cold (non-thermal) plasma treatment can be used to prevent or eliminate infection from bacteria, bacterial biofilms, fungi and viruses. Mechanistically, a cold plasma discharge is composed of highenergy electrons that generate short-lived reactive oxygen and nitrogen species which further react to form more stable compounds (NO2, H2O2, NH2Cl and others) depending on the gas mixture and plasma parameters. Cold plasma devices are being developed for medical applications including infection, cancer, plastic surgery applications and more. Thus, in this review we explore the potential utility of cold plasma as a non-antibiotic approach for treating post-surgical orthopedic infections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-86
JournalBiological Chemistry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 19 Dec 2018


  • Bacteria
  • Biofilm
  • Cold plasma
  • Orthopedic infection
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Titanium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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