Combination of Cold Atmospheric Plasma and Vitamin C Effectively Disrupts Bacterial Biofilms
Journal article, 2017

Cold atmospheric plasma (CAP) is increasingly used in medical applications for eradication of bacterial and tumor
cells. CAP treatment devices, known as plasma jet pens, produce reactive oxygen and nitrogen species at
atmospheric pressure and room temperature. The produced reactive species are concentrated in a small and
precisely defined area, allowing for high precision medical treatments. CAP has been demonstrated as very effective
against planktonic bacterial cells. Unfortunately, bacterial cells in biofilms are typically aggregated and protected by
dense exopolymeric matrix, synthesized and secreted by the bacterial community. The main limitation in using CAP
against bacterial biofilms is the thick protective matrix of extracellular polymers that shields bacterial cells within this
complex architecture. CAP has also been shown to effectively eradicate tumor cells, but the main current limitation is
the susceptibility of the surrounding healthy tissues to higher doses. We have recently demonstrated that vitamin C,
a natural food supplement, can be used to destabilize bacterial biofilms and render them more susceptible to the
CAP killing treatment. Here we discuss the possible impact that a pre-treatment with vitamin C could have on CAP
applications in medicine. Specifically, we argue that vitamin C could enhance the effectiveness of CAP treatments
against both the bacterial biofilms and some selected tumors.

Bacterial bLofilms

Vitamin C



Santosh Pandit

Chalmers, Biology and Biological Engineering, Systems and Synthetic Biology

Venkata Raghavendra Subrahmanya Sar Mokkapati

Environmental Inorganic Chemistry 2

Saga Helgadottir

University of Gothenburg

Fredrik Westerlund

Chalmers, Biology and Biological Engineering, Chemical Biology

Ivan Mijakovic

Chalmers, Biology and Biological Engineering, Systems and Synthetic Biology

Technical University of Denmark (DTU)

Clinical microbiology

2327-5073 (ISSN)

Vol. 6 3 1000283

Subject Categories


Immunology in the medical area


Areas of Advance

Life Science Engineering (2010-2018)



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