Now showing 1 - 10 of 29
  • Publication
    Degradation kinetics of cold plasma-treated antibiotics and their antimicrobial activity
    Antibiotics, such as ofloxacin (OFX) and ciprofloxacin (CFX), are often detected in considerable concentrations in both wastewater effluents and surface water. This poses a risk to non-target organisms and to human health. The aim of this work was to study atmospheric cold plasma (ACP) degradation of antibiotics in water and meat effluent and to explore any residual antimicrobial activity of samples submitted to the plasma process. The results revealed that ACP successfully degraded the studied antibiotics and that the reaction mechanism is principally related to attack by hydroxyl radicals and ozone. According to the disk diffusion assay, the activity of both antibiotics was considerably reduced by the plasma treatment. However, a microdilution method demonstrated that CFX exhibited higher antimicrobial activity after ACP treatment than the corresponding control revealing a potentially new platform for future research to improve the efficiency of conventional antibiotic treatments. Importantly, short-term exposures to sub-lethal concentrations of the antibiotic equally reduced bacterial susceptibility to both ACP treated and untreated CFX. As a remediation process, ACP removal of antibiotics in complex wastewater effluents is possible. However, it is recommended that plasma encompass degradant structure activity relationships to ensure that biological activity is eliminated against non-target organisms and that life cycle safety of antibiotic compounds is achieved.
      156Scopus© Citations 65
  • Publication
    Direct Plasma Deposition of Collagen on 96-Well Polystyrene Plates for Cell Culture
    A cold atmospheric plasma unit was used to deposit a biologic, in this case collagen, onto a surface. A collagen coating was applied to 96-well polystyrene plates at a range of powers to determine the effects of the plasma power on the coating structure and viability. Plasma characterization was carried out using voltage, current, and power measurements. Coating characterization was completed using gravimetric measurement, cell growth, water contact angle, as well as spectroscopic analysis and compared to commercial collagen-coated plates. Cell culture studies were also undertaken. The plasma coating matched the performance of the commercial plate but dramatically reduced production time and cost. This method could allow for automated inline production of collagen-coated plates for cell culture applications.
      199Scopus© Citations 6
  • Publication
    Efficacy of cold plasma functionalised water for improving microbiological safety of fresh produce and wash water recycling
    Atmospheric cold plasma (ACP) is an effective method for microbiological decontamination. This study evaluated an alternative water-based decontamination approach for inactivation of bacterial population from fresh produce and in the wash water generated from fresh produce washing. The study characterised ACP inactivation of attached Listeria innocua and Pseudomonas fluorescens inoculated on lettuce in comparison to chlorine treatment. P. fluorescens was sensitive to ACP treatment and was reduced below detection limit within 3 min of treatment. L. innocua population was reduced by ∼2.4 Log10 CFU/g after 5 min of treatment; showing similar inactivation efficacy to chlorine treatment. The microbial load in wash water was continuously decreased and was below detection limits after 10 min of ACP treatment. Micro-bubbling along with agitation assisted the bacterial detachment and distribution of reactive species, thus increasing bacterial inactivation efficacy from fresh produce and wash water. A shift in pH of plasma functionalised water was observed along with high concentration of nitrate and ozone with a relative amount of nitrites which increased with plasma exposure time. Further, L. innocua treated at different independent pH conditions showed minimal or no effect of pH on ACP bacterial inactivation efficacy. Aqueous ACP treatment poses a promising alternative for decontamination of fresh produce and the associated wash-waters which could be applied in the food industry to replace continuous chlorine dosing of process waters.
    Scopus© Citations 62  64
  • Publication
    Effect of atmospheric cold plasma on the functional properties of whole wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) grain and wheat flour
    Atmospheric cold plasma (ACP) has emerged as a novel processing technology, with demonstrated efficiencies in microbial inactivation. However, studies on the effects of ACP and potential to modify the functional properties of foods are sparse. The objective of this study is to determine the effect of ACP on physico-chemical and functional properties of wheat flour. In this study, both whole wheat grains and wheat flour were subjected to a dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) contained plasma reactor for a range of treatment times (5–30 min) at 80 kV. Plasma treatment increased the flour hydration properties of wheat flour. Rapid visco-analyser results showed an increase in pasting and the final viscosities of wheat flour. The decrease in both endothermic enthalpies and crystallinity was attributed to the depolymerization of starch and plasma-induced changes. Overall DBD-ACP treatment can be tailored to develop a plasma process with potential to improve functionality of wheat flour.
      232Scopus© Citations 86
  • Publication
    Distinct chemistries define the diverse biological effects of plasma activated water generated with spark and glow plasma discharges
    The spread of multidrug-resistant bacteria poses a significant threat to human health. Plasma activated liquids (PAL) could be a promising alternative for microbial decontamination, where different PAL can possess diverse antimicrobial efficacies and cytotoxic profiles, depending on the range and concentration of their reactive chemical species. In this research, the biological activity of plasma activated water (PAW) on different biological targets including both microbiological and mammalian cells was investigated in vitro. The aim was to further an understanding of the specific role of distinct plasma reactive species, which is required to tailor plasma activated liquids for use in applications where high antimicrobial activity is required without adversely affecting the biology of eukaryotic cells. PAW was generated by glow and spark discharges, which provide selective generation of hydrogen peroxide, nitrite and nitrate in the liquid. The PAW made by either spark or glow discharges showed similar antimicrobial efficacy and stability of activity, despite the very different reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species profiles (RNS). However, different trends were observed for cytotoxic activities and effects on enzyme function, which were translated through the selective chemical species generation. These findings indicate very distinct mechanisms of action which may be exploited when tailoring plasma activated liquids to various applications. A remarkable stability to heat and pressure was noted for PAW generated with this set up, which broadens the application potential. These features also suggest that post plasma modifications and post generation stability can be harnessed as a further means of modulating the chemistry, activity and mode of delivery of plasma functionalised liquids. Overall, these results further understanding on how PAL generation may be tuned to provide candidate disinfectant agents for biomedical application or for bio-decontamination in diverse areas.
      212Scopus© Citations 13
  • Publication
    The Effect of Plasma Treated Water Unit Processes on the Food Quality Characteristics of Fresh-Cut Endive
    This study evaluated the impact of a defined plasma treated water (PTW) when applied to various stages within fresh-cut endive processing. The quality characteristic responses were investigated to establish the impact of the PTW unit processes and where PTW may be optimally applied in a model process line to retain or improve produce quality. Different stages of application of PTW within the washing process were investigated and compared to tap water and chlorine dioxide. Fresh-cut endive (Cichorium endivia L.) samples were analyzed for retention of food quality characteristics. Measurements included color, texture, and nitrate quantification. Effects on tissue surface and cell organelles were observed through scanning electron and atomic force microscopy. Overall, the endive quality characteristics were retained by incorporating PTW in the washing process. Furthermore, promising results for color and texture characteristics were observed, which were supported by the microscopic assays of the vegetal tissue. While ion chromatography detected high concentrations of nitrite and nitrate in PTW, these did not affect the nitrate concentration of the lettuce tissue post-processing and were below the concentrations within EU regulations. These results provide a pathway to scale up the industrial application of PTW to improve and retain quality characteristic retention of fresh leafy products, whilst also harnessing the plasma functionalized water as a process intervention for reducing microbial load at multiple points, whether on the food surface, within the process water or on food-processing surfaces.
      125Scopus© Citations 8
  • Publication
    Effects of cold plasma on wheat grain microbiome and antimicrobial efficacy against challenge pathogens and their resistance
    The safety and quality of cereal grain supplies are adversely impacted by microbiological contamination, with novel interventions required to maximise whole grains safety and stability. The microbiological contaminants of wheat grains and the efficacy of Atmospheric Cold Plasma (ACP) for potential to control these risks were investigated. The evaluations were performed using a contained reactor dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) system; samples were treated for 0–20 min using direct and indirect plasma exposure. Amplicon-based metagenomic analysis using bacterial 16S rRNA gene and fungal 18S rRNA gene with internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region was performed to characterize the change in microbial community composition in response to ACP treatment. The antimicrobial efficacy of ACP against a range of bacterial and fungal contaminants of wheat, was assessed to include individual isolates from grains as challenge pathogens. ACP influenced wheat microbiome composition, with a higher microbial diversity as well as abundance found on the untreated control grain samples. Culture and genomic approaches revealed different trends for mycoflora detection and control. A challenge study demonstrated that using direct mode of plasma exposure with 20 min of treatment significantly reduced the concentration of all pathogens. Overall, reduction levels for B. atrophaeus vegetative cells were higher than for all fungal species tested, whereas B. atrophaeus spores were the most resistant to ACP among all microorganisms tested. Of note, repeating sub-lethal plasma treatment did not induce resistance to ACP in either B. atrophaeus or A. flavus spores. ACP process control could be tailored to address diverse microbiological risks for grain stability and safety.
      115Scopus© Citations 25
  • Publication
    The Effect of Atmospheric Cold Plasma on Bacterial Stress Responses and Virulence Using Listeria monocytogenes Knockout Mutants
    Listeria monocytogenes is an opportunistic intracellular pathogen commonly associated with serious infections and multiple food-borne outbreaks. In this study, we investigated the influence of atmospheric cold plasma (80 kV, 50 Hz) on L. monocytogenes (EGD-e) and its knockout mutants of sigB, rsbR, prfA, gadD, and lmo0799 genes at different treatment time intervals. Further, to ascertain if sub-lethal environmental stress conditions could influence L. monocytogenes survival and growth responses, atmospheric cold plasma (ACP) resistance was evaluated for the cultures exposed to cold (4°C) or acid (pH 4) stress for 1 h. The results demonstrate that both wild-type and knockout mutants were similarly affected after 1 min exposure to ACP (p > 0.05), with a difference in response noted only after 3 min of treatment. While all L. monocytogenes strains exposed to acid/cold stress were hypersensitive to ACP treatment and were significantly reduced or inactivated within 1 min of treatment (p < 0.05). The results indicate sigB and prfA are important for general stress resistance and biofilm, respectively, loss of these two genes significantly reduced bacterial resistance to ACP treatment. In addition, exposure to sub-lethal 1min ACP increased the gene expression of stress associated genes. SigB showed the highest gene expression, increasing by 15.60 fold, followed by gadD2 (7.19) and lmo0799 (8.6) after 1 min exposure. Overall, an increase in gene expression was seen in all stress associated genes analyzed both at 1 min treatment; while long treatment time reduced the gene expression and some cases down-regulated prfA and gadD3 gene expression. By comparing the response of mutants under ACP exposure to key processing parameters, the experimental results presented here provide a baseline for understanding the bacterial genetic response and resistance to cold plasma stress and offers promising insights for optimizing ACP applications.
      218Scopus© Citations 21
  • Publication
    Cold plasma for insect pest control: Tribolium castaneum mortality and defense mechanisms in response to treatment
    The insecticidal properties and mechanisms of high-voltage air-based atmospheric cold plasma using a contained dielectric barrier discharge reactor were investigated against Tribolium castaneum as an important bio-contaminant in stored grains spoilage. The mortality of 95.0%–100% for preadult stages can be achieved within seconds of treatment, but longer plasma exposure (5 min) is required to kill adult insects. Cold plasma treatment reduces both the respiration rate and the weight of insects and affects the levels of oxidative stress markers in adult populations. Sufficient toxicity is achievable through plasma process control in air to address the range of insect lifecycle stages that are disease vectors and pose risks for grain stability in storage. Balancing insecticidal activity with grains' quality retention can provide a route to sustainable integrated pest management.
      165Scopus© Citations 14
  • Publication
    Temperature Stability and Effectiveness of Plasma-Activated Liquids over an 18 Months Period
    Non-buffered plasma-activated liquids such as water and saline have shown bactericidal effects. In the present study, we investigated the anti-bacterial efficacy and stability of plasma-activated water (PAW) and plasma-activated saline (PAS), generated using a high voltage dielectric barrier discharge system. This study compares the potential of non-buffered plasma-activated liquids (PAL) for the inactivation of Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) and Escherichia coli (E. coli) after storage of the solutions at five different temperatures for a storage time up to 18 months after their generation. The temperatures used were room temperature, 4◦ C, −16◦ C, −80◦ C, −150◦ C. Both PAW and PAS achieved 6 log reduction for both bacteria on the first day of their generation after 60 min contact time and they retained these effects after 18 months when stored at the lowest temperatures. Chemical analysis of PAL showed that plasma caused a drop in pH, generation of reactive oxygen species and nitrates, whereas no nitrites are detected in the system used. The concentrations of chemical species were affected by the storage at different temperatures and a thermocouple probe was used to investigate the freezing behaviour of the PAL.
      204Scopus© Citations 29