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

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46 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


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

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