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The Application of Plasma Sterilization for SUDs. A novel Non-thermal Atmospheric Dielectric Barrier Discharge Ribbon Electrode. MEM-031 Shawn Anderson William Borrell John Mattero Joseph Neal Royston Rodrigues. Advisors : Dr. Y. Cho Dr. A. Fridman.

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The Application of Plasma Sterilization for SUDs

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The application of plasma sterilization for suds

The Application of Plasma Sterilization for SUDs

A novel Non-thermal Atmospheric Dielectric Barrier Discharge Ribbon Electrode


Shawn Anderson

William Borrell

John Mattero

Joseph Neal

Royston Rodrigues


Dr. Y. Cho

Dr. A. Fridman

The problem preventing pathogenic contamination

The problem: Preventing pathogenic contamination

  • Bacteria are everywhere and surface contamination is practically unavoidable

  • Contaminated medical and surgical instruments can easily transmit bacteria which, leading to potentially fatal infections

  • Sterilization inactivates potentially harmful microorganisms


Sterilization and current techniques

Sterilization and Current Techniques

  • Electron Beam

  • Gamma Radiation

  • Ethylene Oxide

  • Thermal (Autoclaving)

    • Most popular

    • High temperatures and pressures denature proteins and kill bacteria

The problem with current sterilization techniques

The problem with current sterilization techniques

  • Electron Beam

    • Very expensive, dagerous

  • Gamma Radiation

  • Ethylene Oxide

    • Long duty cycles

    • Toxic residues absorbed by materials

  • Thermal (Autoclaving)

    • Not applicable for heat sensitive materials

    • Some strains of bacteria are unaffected

    • Temperatures of 121°C are energy expensive and dangerous

Advantages of plasma sterilization

Advantages of Plasma Sterilization

  • Faster

    • Experimentations of different treatment times shows a 6 log reduction in less than ten minutes

  • Safe for all surfaces and materials

  • More energy efficient

    • Power ratings less than that of a light bulb

  • Relatively Nontoxic

    • The only toxic byproduct is ozone, which can easily be removed

  • Inactivates the hardiest of bacteria

    • The inherent mechanisms of plasma sterilization are almost impossible for bacteria to adapt to*

What is plasma

What is Plasma

  • Plasma – 4th state of matter

    • Ionized gas

  • Depending on how energy provided can be thermal or non-thermal (cold) plasma

  • Dielectric Barrier Discharge (DBD)

  • Dielectric barrier discharge

  • Created when high voltage is applied6

  • Charge builds up on surface

  • Electrons that enter region form electron avalanche

  • Advantage as produces high energy electrons directly

How do general plasmas sterilize

How do general plasmas sterilize

  • Inactivation kinetics are not absolute

  • Current theories include

    • UV radiation

      • UV radiation can cause DNA damage or surface modifications which activates cell death mechanisms

    • Heat

      • Streamers produce temperatures of up to 1eV or 2.3x105 K

    • Charged particles

    • Electrons and positively/negatively charge ions

    • Direct and indirect effects of Reactive species

      • O, O2, O3, OH, NO, NO2compromise bacterial cell wall components

How does dbd plasma sterilize

How does DBD plasma sterilize

  • Heat inactivation is negligible

  • UV inactivation is negligible

  • Leaves reactive oxygen species and charged particles as the primary sterilants

  • Rate of ionization

    • keo - Collision Rate coefficient of electrons and neutral atoms,

    • I – activation energy

    • Te – electron temperature

e + O2 O + O + e

O + O2 + M  O3 + M

e + H2O  H + OH + e

Dbd plasma sterilization

DBD Plasma Sterilization










Horizontal distance: 1.074 μm

Vertical Distance: 463.45 nm

Horizontal distance: 531.46 nm

Vertical Distance: 108.39 nm

Specifications of the box

Specifications of the Box

Specs of the electrode

Specs of the Electrode

Plasma characterization

Plasma Characterization

  • Talk about plasma characterization

  • talk about power source characterization (get data from posters)

Power source characterization

Power Source Characterization



  • What can our box do????



The application of plasma sterilization for suds




Reprocessing single use medical devices


  • Single-Use Medical Devices (SUD)

    • Scalpel handles, forceps, scissors, speculums, etc.

    • Defined as used, open, or expired

  • FDA and MDUFMA

    • Validated sterilization procedures must accompany 510K submissions

    • Requires similar standards as OEMs

Why reprocess


  • If 1-2% of all SUDs were reprocessed, savings of $1,000,000,000/yr

  • Up to 50% savings when reprocessing once

  • 10 Million tons of waste diverted from landfills each year

  • Increased reliability

Competitive advantages


  • Size

    • Scalable to large container size

    • Possible conveyor belt mechanism with automated sterilization

  • Efficacy

    • Proven to kill D. radiodurans, E. coli

    • Short duration exposure times

      • 30sec to 10hrs

  • Safety

    • Runs off 110V wall power supply

    • Non-thermal plasma safe to touch

Senior design budget


Industrial budget

Industrial Budget

The application of plasma sterilization for suds

Dr. Young Cho

Dr. Alexander Fridman

Dr. Greg Fridman

Moogega Cooper

Drexel Plasma Institute

References add these within the presentation cite figures








  • Laroussi, Mounir. "Low Temperature Plasma-Based Sterilization: Overview and State-of-the-Art." Plasma Processes and Polymers 2 (2005): 391-400.

  • Fridman, Gregory, Peter I. Lelkes, and Kenneth Barbee. "Physical and Biological Mechanisms of Plasma Interaction with Living Tissue." Prepublication (2007).

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