Inactivation of microorganisms and endotoxins by low temperature nitrogen gas plasma exposure

Hideharu Shintani, Naohiro Shimizu, Yuichiro Imanishi, Takayuki Sekiya, Kahoru Tamazawa, Akira Taniguchi, Nobuo Kido

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Citations (Scopus)


The plasma of several different gases has shown a sporicidal activity. From these gases, nitrogen gas was most difficult to produce atomic nitrogen radicals. However, these radicals have a high energy, indicating that nitrogen gas plasma could be used to sterilize microorganisms and inactivate endotoxins. The sterilization mechanism of nitrogen gas plasma is the synergistic effect of a high rising-up voltage pulse, UV irradiation and atomic nitrogen radicals. Thus, the target cells were damaged by degradation, which resulted in death. The biological indicator (BI) used in this study was Geobacillus stearothermophilus ATCC 7953 at a population of 1 × 106 CFU/sheet. Sterility assurance was confirmed by using the BI. Moreover, endotoxins were successfully inactivated. More than 5 log reduction of endotoxins could be attained with 30 minutes of nitrogen gas plasma exposure. Material functionality influenced by nitrogen gas plasma presented a satisfactory result. No deterioration of polymers could be observed by nitrogen gas plasma exposure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-143
Number of pages13
JournalBiocontrol Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Dec
Externally publishedYes


  • Endotoxin
  • Inactivation
  • Microorganism
  • Nitrogen gas plasma
  • Sterilization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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