In this paper we will present results for plasma sterilization of planktonic samples of two reference strains of bacteria, Pseudomonas aeruginosa ATCC 27853 and Enterococcus faecalis ATCC 29212. We have used a plasma needle as a source of non-equilibrium atmospheric plasma in all treatments. This device is already well characterized by OES, derivative probes and mass spectrometry. It was shown that power delivered to the plasma is bellow 2 W and that it produces the main radical oxygen and nitrogen species believed to be responsible for the sterilization process. Here we will only present results obtained by electron paramagnetic resonance which was used to detect the OH, H and NO species. Treatment time and power delivered to the plasma were found to have the strongest influence on sterilization. In all cases we have observed a reduction of several orders of magnitude in the concentration of bacteria and for the longest treatment time complete eradication. A more efficient sterilization was achieved in the case of gram negative bacteria.
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