Staphylococcus epidermidis and Aspergillus niger Reduction

Romero-Mangado et al.
NASA Ames Research Center


Full Report


To explore the efficacy of the atmospheric pressure dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) technology on inactivating airborne pathogens, specifically Staphylococcus epidermidis, a surrogate for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Aspergillus niger.


The NV200 was placed inside a biosafety cabinet, and a nebulizer was attached to the input of the system in order to aerosolize the bacterial particles for testing. All the DBD system vents except the top one were sealed to prevent any undesired microorganism from getting into the system.

The aerosolized particles were then fed through the top input to the cabinet and any viable particles after DBD treatment were collected at the output on sterile silicon wafers.

Summary of Results

It is concluded that the DBD caused severe size and shape change of the cell structure, possibly resulting in destruction of cellular components and eventually to cell death.

A similar effect was also found on the fungal spores, indicating the versatility of the equipment toward a range of microorganisms.