Bacteria can be inactivated through various physical and chemical means, and these have always been the focus of extensive research. To further improve the methodology for these ends, two types of plasma systems were investigated: nano-second pulsed plasma (NPP) as liquid discharge plasma and an Argon gas-feeding dielectric barrier discharge (Ar-DBD) as a form of surface plasma. To understand the sterilizing action of these two different plasma sources, we performed experiments with Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) bacteria (wild type) and multidrug resistant bacteria (Penicillum-resistant, Methicillin-resistant and Gentamicin-resistant). We observed that both plasma sources can inactivate both the wild type and multidrug-resistant bacteria to a good extent. Moreover, we observed a change in the surface morphology, gene expression and β-lactamase activity. Furthermore, we used X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy to investigate the variation in functional groups (C-H/C-C, C-OH and C=O) of the peptidoglycan (PG) resulting from exposure to plasma species. To obtain atomic scale insight in the plasma-cell interactions and support our experimental observations, we have performed molecular dynamics simulations to study the effects of plasma species, such as OH, H 2 O 2, O, O 3, as well as O 2 and H 2 O, on the dissociation/formation of above mentioned functional groups in PG.
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