Microscopic Examination of Biofilm Destruction by Atmospheric Pressure Plasma

Mahmoud Alkawareek, Sean Gorman, Bill Graham, Brendan Gilmore

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


Objective: The aim of this study is to examine microscopically the destruction of bacterial biofilms mediated by atmospheric pressure non-thermal plasma (APNTP) at cellular level as well as at the level of biofilm structure as a whole. Methods: 3-day old bacterial biofilms were grown on polycarbonate coupons in a dual channel flow cell and were treated with an in-housed designed atmospheric pressure non-thermal plasma jet for up to 4 minutes of exposure before being examined by both confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM), preceded by Live/Dead bacterial viability staining, and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Results: Differential live/dead staining followed by confocal microscopy examination revealed that biofilm eradication by APNTP was mediated by varying levels of both cell killing and physical removal. Relative extent of each mechanism was dependent on plasma operating conditions, bacterial species, growth conditions and biofilm thickness. On the other hand, SEM examination of plasma-exposed biofilms revealed a series of morphological changes exhibited by biofilm cells ranging from increased roughness of cell surface to complete cell lysis. Conclusions: Interesting mechanistic insights have been revealed by microscopic examination of plasma-treated bacterial biofilms that, when coupled with more specific biochemical studies, will not only contribute significantly to our understanding of the mechanism of plasma mediated biofilm destruction but also will help in better application-guided development of this novel anti-biofilm approach.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2013
EventEurobiofilms 2013 - 3rd European Congress on Microbial Biofilms - Ghent, Belgium
Duration: 09 Sept 201312 Sept 2013


ConferenceEurobiofilms 2013 - 3rd European Congress on Microbial Biofilms


Dive into the research topics of 'Microscopic Examination of Biofilm Destruction by Atmospheric Pressure Plasma'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this