Scientists develop handheld flashlight that kills bacteria instantly.
(PHYSORG)- A group of Chinese and Australian scientists, including CSIRO, have developed a handheld, battery-powered plasma-producing device that can rid skin of bacteria in an instant. The handheld plasma flashlight could be used in ambulance emergency calls, natural disaster sites, military combat operations and many other instances where treatment is required in remote locations.
Details of the plasma flashlight have been released today in a study published by the Institute of Physics Publishing's Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics.
The flashlight is driven by a 12 volt battery and doesn't require any external generator or wall power. It also doesn't require any external gas feed or handling system. The device itself is fitted with resistors to stop it heating up and making it safe to touch.
In the study, the plasma flashlight effectively inactivated a thick biofilm of one of the most antibiotic and heat-resistant bacteria, Enterococcus faecalis – a bacterium which often infects the root canals during dental treatments.
Results showed that the plasma not only inactivated the top layer of cells, but penetrated deep into the very bottom of the layers to kill the bacteria.