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Pure Appl. Chem., 2008, Vol. 80, No. 9, pp. 1953-1969

Atmospheric-pressure, nonthermal plasma sterilization of microorganisms in liquids and on surfaces

Yuri Akishev1, Michail Grushin1, Vladimir Karalnik1, Nickolay Trushkin1, Vasiliy Kholodenko2, Vladimir Chugunov2, Eugeniy Kobzev2, Nadezhda Zhirkova2, Irina Irkhina2 and Georgiy Kireev2

1 State Research Center of RF TRINITI, Troitsk, Moscow region, 142190, Russia
2 State Research Center of RF for Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, Obolensk, 142279, Russia

Abstract: Gas discharge plasma inactivation of microorganisms at low (close to ambient) temperature is a promising area of investigation that is attracting widespread interest. This paper describes atmospheric-pressure, nonthermal plasma (NTP) methods for cold sterilization of liquids and thermal sensitive surfaces. These methods are based on the use of direct current (DC) gas discharge plasma sources fed with steady-state high voltage. Parameters characterizing the plasma sources used (plasma-forming gas, gas flow rate, electric power consumed, etc.) are given. The results for plasma sterilization of different microorganisms (vegetative cells, spores, fungi, biofilms) are presented. An empirical mathematical approach is developed for describing NTP inactivation of microorganisms. This approach takes into account not only the destruction of different components of the cells, but their reparation as well.