Application of Cold Atmospheric Plasma to Disrupt Biofilms on Medical Devices

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date

April 2017

Faculty Sponsor

Julia Oxford


Roughly 65-85% of human bacterial infections are the result of biofilms that are difficult to eradicate by conventional antiseptic and antibiotic protocols. This results in billions of dollars in costs for treatment in hospitals and other healthcare environments, as well as mortality. Cold atmospheric plasma, which involves the ionization of gases to produce reactive oxygen species, has been used in the past to successfully deactivate various types of bacteria within biofilms after a short exposure. Using a plasma delivery device fabricated from low-temperature co-fired ceramics and silver paste electrodes, we have exposed S. aureus and E. coli biofilms to cold atmospheric plasmas to demonstrate the effects of plasma ions on biofilm integrity and microbial cellular survival. Upon analysis of colony forming unit reduction, this same procedure will be applied to sections of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and vinyl urethral catheters harboring biofilms. The surface integrity of the materials after treatment will be confirmed by scanning electron microscopy. We hypothesize that the plasma device will be effective in delivering plasmas that exert significant antimicrobial effects during the initial tests and eventually eliminate biofilms from surfaces of medical devices to produce sterility

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