JOURNAL OF DENTAL HYGIENE : JDH / AMERICAN DENTAL HYGIENISTS' ASSOCIATION, vol.83, no.2, pp.55-61, 2009 (SCI-Expanded)
Introduction: Cold plasma, also known as Low Temperature Atmo- spheric Pressure Plasma (LTAPP) is a novel technology consisting of neutral and charged particles, including free radicals, which can be used to destroy or inactivate microorganisms. Research has been con- ducted regarding the effect of cold plasma on gram-positive bacteria; however, there is limited research regarding its ability to inactivate the spore-formers Geobacillus stearothermophilus and Bacillus cereus.
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine if cold plasma inac- tivates G. stearothermophilus and B. cereus vegetative cells and spores.
Methods: Nine hundred eighty-one samples were included in this study (762 experimental and 219 controls). Experimental samples were exposed indirectly or directly to cold plasma, before plating and incu- bating for 16 hours. Control samples were not exposed to cold plasma. The percentage-kill and cell number reductions were calculated from Colony Forming Units (CFU). Data were statistically analyzed at the .05 level using one-way ANOVA, Kruskal Wallis and Tukey’s tests.
Results: There was a statistically significant difference in the inacti- vation of G. stearothermophilus vegetative cells receiving indirect and direct exposure (p=0.0001 and p=0.0013, respectively), as well as for B. cereus vegetative cells and spores (p=0.0001 for direct and indirect). There was no statistically significant difference in the inactivation of G. stearothermophilus spores receiving indirect exposure (p=0.7208) or direct exposure (p=0.0835).
Conclusion: Results demonstrate that cold plasma exposure effec- tively kills G. stearothermophilus vegetative cells and B. cereus vegeta- tive cells and spores; however, G. stearothermophilus spores were not significantly inactivated.
Key Words: Cold plasma, Low Temperature Atmospheric Pressure Plasma (LTAPP), bacteria, spores, sterilization