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Plasma Medicine
SJR: 0.198 SNIP: 0.183 CiteScore™: 0.57

ISSN Print: 1947-5764
ISSN Online: 1947-5772

Plasma Medicine

DOI: 10.1615/PlasmaMed.2013006849
pages 151-168

Optical Emission Spectroscopy as a Tool for Characterization of Technical Plasmas in Medical Applications

Peter Awakowicz
Institute for Electrical Engineering and Plasma Technology, Ruhr University, Bochum, Germany
Sabrina Baldus
Institute for Electrical Engineering and Plasma Technology, Ruhr University, Bochum, Germany
Katharina Stapelmann
Department of Electrical Engineering and Plasma Technology, Ruhr-Universitat Bochum, Bochum, Germany
Max Engelhardt
Department of Electrical Engineering and Plasma Technology, Ruhr-Universitat Bochum, Bochum, Germany
Nikita Bibinov
Department of Electrical Engineering and Plasma Technology, Ruhr-Universitat Bochum, Bochum, Germany
Benjamin Denis
Department of Electrical Engineering and Plasma Technology, Ruhr-Universitat Bochum, Bochum, Germany

ABSTRACT

Understanding the interactions of technical plasma discharges with biological systems is a key aspect to developing and optimizing plasma devices for use in medical practice. In this article, the characterization of 3 different plasma devices with absolutely and relatively calibrated optical emission spectroscopy is presented. Two low-pressure setups are described: a double inductively coupled plasma that serves as laboratory setup for basic research of sterilization of spores and germs and a very high frequency capacitively coupled plasma designed to meet commercial needs. An atmospheric pressure dielectric barrier discharge is designed for wound and skin treatment. Sterilization tests for each setup demonstrate the capability to inactivate bacteria and bacterial spores efficiently. In case of the double inductively coupled plasma, wavelength-dependent photo sterilization efficiency is investigated. As a result, Aspergillus brasiliensis spores are efficiently inactivated by irradiation below 235 nm, whereas Bacillus atrophaeus spores are sensitive to irradiation between 235 and 300 nm. The very high frequency capacitively coupled plasma demonstrates a reduction greater than log 6 of B. Atrophaeus endospores in a process challenge device, a metal box with 3 small slits (3 mm). With direct DBD treatment, a full inactivation of Escherichia coli is achieved within 10 seconds of treatment time. From measurements, data can be extracted only at certain positions. Simulations deliver spatially resolved data from whole-discharge volume.