Non-thermal plasma technologies: new tools for bio-decontamination

Biotechnol Adv. Nov-Dec 2008;26(6):610-7. doi: 10.1016/j.biotechadv.2008.08.001. Epub 2008 Aug 16.


Bacterial control and decontamination are crucial to industrial safety assessments. However, most recently developed materials are not compatible with standard heat sterilization treatments. Advanced oxidation processes, and particularly non-thermal plasmas, are emerging and promising technologies for sanitation because they are both efficient and cheap. The applications of non-thermal plasma to bacterial control remain poorly known for several reasons: this technique was not developed for biological applications and most of the literature is in the fields of physics and chemistry. Moreover, the diversity of the devices and complexity of the plasmas made any general evaluation of the potential of the technique difficult. Finally, no experimental equipment for non-thermal plasma sterilization is commercially available and reference articles for microbiologists are rare. The present review aims to give an overview of the principles of action and applications of plasma technologies in biodecontamination.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Bacteria
  • Biotechnology / methods*
  • Decontamination / methods*
  • Gases
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Sterilization / methods*


  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Gases