(NaturalNews) Plasma activated water (PAW) may sound new to many readers, but there's been much research on it over the past few years. A recent November issue of the Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics states that water mixed with a cocktail of compounds contained in ionized plasma causes a deactivation of up to 99% of potentially dangerous bacteria. The water has also been shown to stay antibacterial for over a week. Such a discovery can have many beneficial applications, such as to sterilize medical equipment, treat wounds, or for use on a multitude of infections.
One of the lead scientists on the anti-microbial effects of plasma-activated-water, Professor David B. Graves at U.C. Berkley, Dept. of Chemical and Bio-molecular Engineering, has found along with his research group, that devices capable of producing these plasmas are not only extremely effective, but inexpensive. This means it can become a great medical benefit to developing countries, areas hit by natural disasters, or various battlefields where sterile water for medicinal use are in short supply and expensive to come by.
"One of the most difficult problems associated with medical facilities in low-resource countries is infection control," says Professor Graves. "It's estimated that infections in these countries are a factor of three-to-five times more widespread than in the developed world." Graves and his peers believe they can also potentially come up with a practical device for the home that can be used as an alternative to bleach, or surgical antibiotics.
A collective effort by UC at Berkeley and the University of Maryland at College Park studied how low-temperature plasmas can inactivate dangerous bio-molecules. These nomadic molecules are left behind sometimes by conventional sterilization methods. The researchers exposed and inactivated dangerous bacteria such as E. coli to the effects of low-temperature plasmas using a vacuum-beam system.They found that plasma
can also "kill" dangerous proteins and lipids - including prions, the infectious agents that cause mad cow disease. "Low-temperature plasma generates vacuum ultraviolet photons, ions/electrons, and radicals that are known to be able to deactivate these molecules even at low temperature," says Professor Graves.
The studies continue at universities such as UC Berkley and University of Maryland. There's still much to be understood and learned from this particular photon process. One thing is certain, the steps are being taken by dedicated scientists and researchers to bring these unique benefits to the forefront of healthcare.Sources for this article include:http://phys.org/news/2011-11-safer-medical-kit-plasma-activated.htmlhttp://www.iop.org/news/11/nov/page_52641.htmlhttp://newscenter.berkeley.eduhttp://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-10/aiop-r103111.phphttp://onlinelibrary.wiley.comAbout the author:
Duran Rivera is a freelance writer and artist. He received a bachelors in illustration from Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. He's also an avid health student and researcher working toward mental, physical and spiritual empowerment. You can contact him at DuranRiv@gmail.com.