Inactivation of virus in solution by cold atmospheric pressure plasma: Identification of chemical inactivation pathways

Hamada A. Aboubakr, Urvashi Gangal, Mohammed M. Youssef, Sagar M. Goyal, Peter J. Bruggeman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Scopus citations


Cold atmospheric pressure plasma (CAP) inactivates bacteria and virus through in situ production of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (RONS). While the bactericidal and virucidal efficiency of plasmas is well established, there is limited knowledge about the chemistry leading to the pathogen inactivation. This article describes a chemical analysis of the CAP reactive chemistry involved in the inactivation of feline calicivirus. We used a remote radio frequency CAP produced in varying gas mixtures leading to different plasma-induced chemistries. A study of the effects of selected scavengers complemented with positive control measurements of relevant RONS reveal two distinctive pathways based on singlet oxygen and peroxynitrous acid. The first mechanism is favored in the presence of oxygen and the second in the presence of air when a significant pH reduction is induced in the solution by the plasma. Additionally, smaller effects of the H2O2, O3 and produced were also found. Identification of singlet oxygen-mediated 2-imidazolone/2-oxo-His (His +14 Da) - an oxidative modification of His 262 comprising the capsid protein of feline calicivirus links the plasma induced singlet oxygen chemistry to viral inactivation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number204001
JournalJournal of Physics D: Applied Physics
Issue number20
StatePublished - Apr 15 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We acknowledge funding from the University of Minnesota and the Department of Energy Plasma Science Center through the US Department of Energy, Office of Fusion Energy Sciences, Contract: DE-SC0001939. Partial funding provided by the Cultural Affairs and Mission Sector, Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Egypt, is gratefully acknowledged. We thank Paul Williams from the Department of Mechanical Engineering University of Minnesota, and Nhungoc Ti Luong from the Veterinary Diagnostic Lab for technical assistance. The authors acknowledge the Center for Mass Spectrometry and Proteomics at the University of Minnesota and various supporting agencies, including the National Science Foundation for Major Research Instrumentation grants 9871237 and NSF-DBI-0215759 used to purchase the mass spectrometry instruments described in this study. Supporting agencies are listed here: The authors acknowledge analytics support from the University of Minnesota Informatics Institute.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 IOP Publishing Ltd.


  • cold atmospheric pressure plasma
  • plasma induced liquid phase chemistry
  • plasma-bio interactions
  • plasma-liquid interaction
  • virus inactivation


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