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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
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

Plasma characterization
Plasma Characterization

  • Talk about plasma characterization

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


  • What can our box do????

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

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).