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BioMed Research International
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 6085741, 11 pages
Research Article

Sterilization of Biofilm on a Titanium Surface Using a Combination of Nonthermal Plasma and Chlorhexidine Digluconate

1Department of Bioengineering, College of Engineering, The University of Toledo, Toledo, OH 43606, USA
2Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, The University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences, Toledo, OH 43614, USA
3Department of Orthopedic Surgery, The University of Toledo Medical Center, Toledo, OH 43614, USA
4Department of Mechanical, Industrial, and Manufacturing Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH 43606, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to Halim Ayan

Received 9 June 2017; Accepted 9 August 2017; Published 19 September 2017

Academic Editor: Jozef Anné

Copyright © 2017 Tripti Thapa Gupta et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Nosocomial infections caused by opportunistic bacteria pose major healthcare problem worldwide. Out of the many microorganisms responsible for such infections, Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a ubiquitous bacterium that accounts for 10–20% of hospital-acquired infections. These infections have mortality rates ranging from 18 to 60% and the cost of treatment ranges from $20,000 to $80,000 per infection. The formation of biofilms on medical devices and implants is responsible for the majority of those infections. Only limited progress has been made to prevent this issue in a safe and cost-effective manner. To address this, we propose employing jet plasma to break down and inactivate biofilms in vitro. Moreover, to improve the antimicrobial effect on the biofilm, a treatment method using a combination of jet plasma and a biocide known as chlorhexidine (CHX) digluconate was investigated. We found that complete sterilization of P. aeruginosa biofilms can be achieved after combinatorial treatment using plasma and CHX. A decrease in biofilm viability was also observed using confocal laser scanning electron microscopy (CLSM). This treatment method sterilized biofilm-contaminated surfaces in a short treatment time, indicating it to be a potential tool for the removal of biofilms present on medical devices and implants.