Student Research

Biofilm Growth Prevention

Plasma surface modification has a unique advantage to treat surfaces to selectively enhance the surface’s properties, adhesion strength and biocompatibility while leaving the bulk of the material unaffected. Oxygen gas is the most effective and environmentally safe method for critical surface cleaning. The oxygen gas breaks most of the organic bonds of surface contaminants. For our preliminary studies we examined the effect of the plasma from a Surfx Plasma reactor by infusing Helium gas and Oxygen gas on three types of metals; stainless steel, pure titanium, and a titanium alloy, by measuring the contact angle through Image J software to assess surface wettability and roughness. We kept three plasma parameters constant; power at 40W, the distance from the shower head to the top surface at 2.0cm, and gas flow, and we will vary the plasma treatment time. Each sample will be treated for one minute, two minutes, 5 minutes and no treatment (the control). In our second phase of the experiment we proceeded to analyze how these treated samples will react to the exposure of two types of bacteria; Staphylococcus Epidermidis and Pseudomonas Aeruginosa. We compared the biofilm grown on the treated surface with the biofilm grown on a non-treated surface (control).

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