Plasma-treated poly(ethylene oxide) nanofibers containing tea tree oil/beta-cyclodextrin inclusion complex for antibacterial packaging

Carbohydr Polym. 2018 Jan 1;179:360-369. doi: 10.1016/j.carbpol.2017.10.011. Epub 2017 Oct 4.


This work describes the effect of cold nitrogen plasma to enhance the antibacterial activity of poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) nanofibers containing antibacterial agent. Beta-cyclodextrin (β-CD) and tea tree oil (TTO) were used as a host-guest to form water-soluble inclusion complex. The encapsulation efficiency of TTO in inclusion complex could reach 73.23% at 60°C. As antibacterial agent, the inclusion complex was encapsulated into PEO matrix by electrospun. After plasma treatment, the release efficiency of antibacterial agent from PEO nanofibers was improved. As a result, the antibacterial activity of PEO nanofibers was enhanced accordingly. The plasma-treated nanofiber membranes achieved the highest antibacterial activity against Escherichia coli O157:H7, which was tested on the beef for 7d, with inhibition efficiently of 99.99% whether at 4°C or 12°C. The plasma-treated PEO nanofiber membranes containing TTO/β-CD inclusion complex (TTO/β-CD-IC) can prolong the shelf-life of beef, suggesting it has potential application in active food packaging.

Keywords: Electrospun nanofibers; Escherichia coli O157:H7; Plasma; TTO/β-CD-IC.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / chemistry
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Electrochemical Techniques
  • Escherichia coli / drug effects
  • Food Preservation
  • Membranes, Artificial
  • Nanofibers / chemistry*
  • Nitrogen / chemistry*
  • Plasma Gases / chemistry*
  • Polyethylene Glycols / chemistry*
  • Tea Tree Oil / chemistry*
  • Time Factors
  • beta-Cyclodextrins / chemistry*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Membranes, Artificial
  • Plasma Gases
  • beta-Cyclodextrins
  • Polyethylene Glycols
  • Tea Tree Oil
  • Nitrogen