Morphological and chemical changes of aerosolized E. coli treated with a dielectric barrier discharge

Jaione Romero-Mangado, Dennis Nordlund, Felipe Soberon, Graham Deane, Kevin Maughan, Sami Sainio, Gurusharan Singh, Stephen Daniels, Ian T. Saunders, David Loftus, M. Meyyappan, Jessica Koehne, Ram P. Gandhiraman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
102 Downloads (Pure)


This study presents the morphological and chemical modification of the cell structure of aerosolized Escherichia coli treated with a dielectric barrier discharge (DBD). Exposure to DBD results in severe oxidation of the bacteria, leading to the formation of hydroxyl groups and carbonyl groups and a significant reduction in amine functionalities and phosphate groups. Near edge x-ray absorption fine structure (NEXAFS) measurements confirm the presence of additional oxide bonds upon DBD treatment, suggesting oxidation of the outer layer of the cell wall. Electron microscopy images show that the bacteria undergo physical distortion to varying degrees, resulting in deformation of the bacterial structure. The electromagnetic field around the DBD coil causes severe damage to the cell structure, possibly resulting in leakage of vital cellular materials. The oxidation and chemical modification of the bacterial components are evident from the Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and NEXAFS results. The bacterial reculture experiments confirm inactivation of airborne E. coli upon treating with DBD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number011009
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • bacteria
  • x-ray absorption
  • fourier transforms


Dive into the research topics of 'Morphological and chemical changes of aerosolized E. coli treated with a dielectric barrier discharge'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this