Efficacy of the PlasmaShield®, a Non-Thermal, Plasma-Based Air Purification Device, in Removing Airborne Microorganisms

Harriet Whiley, Thilini P. Keerthirathne, Emma J. Kuhn, Muhammad Atif Nisar, Alex Sibley, Peter Speck, Kirstin E. Ross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
52 Downloads (Pure)


Airborne microorganisms play a significant role in the transmission of infectious diseases. As such, improving indoor microbial air quality can enhance infection control in numerous settings. This study examined the efficacy of the PlasmaShield® air purification device to remove airborne microorganisms under laboratory conditions. Pure cultures of model microorganisms at varying concentrations were aerosolized using a 1-jet Collison nebulizer through stainless-steel removable piping prior to reaching the PlasmaShield® device. The surviving microorganisms were captured using the Staplex® MBS-6 Six Stage Microbial Air Sampler and enumerated via culture on agar plates. The positive-hole-corrected colony/plaque-forming units were compared with the negative control (microorganisms aerosolized through an empty PlasmaShield® casing). The PlasmaShield® statistically significantly (p < 0.05) reduced airborne Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Bacteriophage MS2 and Cladosporium sp. compared with the negative control. The maximum removal achieved was estimated to be 4 × log10 E. coli (99.99% removal), 4 × log10 S. epidermidis (99.97% removal), 7 × log10 MS2 (99.99998% removal) and 5 × log10 Cladosporium sp. (99.999% removal). Scanning electron microscope images of the surviving microorganisms showed that the PlasmaShield® damaged the cell membrane of these model microorganisms. This study provides proof-of-concept evidence to support the use of this technology to improve indoor microbial air quality.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)276-284
Number of pages9
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2022


  • air purification
  • infection control
  • indoor air
  • microbial air quality


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