A parametric study of the destruction efficiency of Bacillus spores in low pressure oxygen-based plasmas

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The destruction of Bacillus spores in oxygen-based plasmas sustained in the millitorr pressure range has been studied as functions of various biological and plasma parameters, namely Bacillus species, surface concentration of spores, treatment temperature, and gas composition. In an oxygen plasma, Bacillus stearothermophilus appears less plasma-resistant than the other spores tested. Oxygen, H2O2 and chiefly CO2 plasmas are clearly shown to be much more efficient in destroying Bacillus subtilis spores than pure argon plasma. The bacterial surface concentration on the spore carriers and the treatment temperature also lead to significant variations in the destruction efficiency of spores when using CO2 plasma.

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