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Plasma activated liquids have demonstrated antimicrobial effects and receive increasing attention due to the potential to strengthen the armoury of novel approaches against antibiotic resistant bacteria. However, the antibacterial activity and cytotoxic effects of these solutions need to be understood and balanced before exposure to humans. In this study, the antibacterial effects of plasma activated saline (PAS) were tested against Gram negative and positive bacteria, and HaCaT keratinocytes were used for cytotoxicity studies. For the first time, a co-culture model between these bacteria and eukaryotic cells under the influence of PAS has been described. Exposure of saline to plasma resulted in high concentrations of nitrate, hydrogen peroxide and a reduction of pH. PAS caused high antibacterial effects in the co-culture model, accompanied by high cytotoxic effects to the monolayer of mammalian cells. We present evidence and provide a deeper understanding for the hypothesis that upon treatment with PAS, chemical species generated in the liquid mediate high antimicrobial effects in the co-culture setup as well as mitochondrial depolarization and glutathione depletion in HaCaT cells and cell lysis due to acidic pH. In conclusion, PAS retains strong antibacterial effects in a co-culture model, which may have unintended negative biological effects on mammalian cells.



ThisScience Foundation Ireland (SFI) under Grant Number 15/SIRG/3466; RNIH/SFI/HRC tripartite consortium grant through NIAMS of the National Institutes of Health under award number RO1AR076941.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.