Goree Group
  Biomedical research
John A. Goree
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Plasma needle investigations:

We built a low-power millimeter-size atmospheric plasma jet and tested it for dental applications.

The apparatus is modeled after the "plasma needle" introduced by Eva Stoffels and her group in Holland.

Teaming with Professor David Drake of the The University of Iowa College of Dentistry, we performed tests to demonstrate that the plasma needle kills Streptococcus mutans (S. mutans) bacteria, which is the most important microorganism for causing caries (cavities).

Papers we've published can be found here

Powerpoint presentation, with color images (10-15 MB, file format is .ppt):

"Biomedical Applications of Plasma Treatment" John Goree, Colloquium, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, The University of Iowa, 23 January 2006


Images from July 2005 tests:


Nozzle of the plasma needle handset. Helium gas flows from this nozzle, and radio-frequency high voltage is applied to the tungsten needle to ionize the gas. A plasma jet flows out of the nozzle and mixes with air. Radicals O and OH are formed when air molecules are dissociated. The plasma jet impinges on a surface.


We imaged the glow from the side and then used Abel inversion to reveal its internal structure. The needle is just above the center of the image, while the treated surface is horizontal, at the bottom.


Plasma treatment was performed in 501 Van Allen Hall by John Goree (left) and Bin Liu. The samples were prepared, incubated, and imaged the Dental Science Building by the group of Dr. David Drake.


Image of a 5-mm diameter plasma-treated spot on the surface of an agar plate. A light-brown color indicates living bacterial colonies, while a dark-brown color indicates dead bacteria. This serves not only as an indication of a desired biomedical effect, but also as a sensitive biological diagnostic of plasmas.

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updated 23 Apr 2010

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