In November 2020, an article was published in the scientific journal "Physics of Fluid" about an experiment successfully carried out by researchers from the University of California, which was to effectively fight against coronavirus infection using cold plasma.
The experiment itself took place in June of that year. At that time, it was already established that the virus does not die instantly on some surfaces and remains dangerous to others for up to several hours. Therefore, scientists have previously applied cultures of SARS-CoV-2 to the surface of metal, plastic, cardboard and leather used to make basketballs, volleyballs and soccer balls.
To influence pathogens with plasma, it was necessary to print some parts of the working device on a 3D printer. Argon gas was used as the main substance. Once the device was ready, all contaminated surfaces were treated with cold plasma.
At the end of this experiment, it turned out that most viruses on surfaces were destroyed after 30 seconds of exposure, and completely killed after 3 minutes. The result obtained gave direction for further research. Similarly, cotton, which is used in the manufacture of masks, was treated with cold plasma. SARS-CoV-2 viruses applied to cotton died in the same time as on other materials.
Unfortunately, subsequent experiments using helium gas did not show the same efficiency.
Plasma is a gas saturated with ions with opposite charges. It is the fourth aggregate state of matter with unique properties: ionization, electrical conductivity, the ability to interact with a magnetic field. And the effectiveness of plasma in the fight against pathogens has been known for a long time. However, the successful experiments at the University of California were the first to be officially registered in the fight against SARS-CoV-2.
In the future, it is planned to begin the production of compact devices that produce cold plasma. After all, it is quite effective, and safer than many used chemicals. Despite the fact that the properties of plasma are still being studied, its good potential has already been noted.
- Publishing.aip.org. – Plasma Treatments Quickly Kill Coronavirus on Surfaces.
- Aip.scitation.org. – Cold atmospheric plasma for SARS-CoV-2 inactivation.
- Sciencedaily.com. – Plasma treatments quickly kill coronavirus on surfaces.
- Image "Cold plasma jet device".– Cold atmospheric plasma for SARS-CoV-2 inactivation.