Bringing measuring accuracy to radical treatment

Nov 12, 2012
Bringing measuring accuracy to radical treatment

An international team of scientists working at the Plasma Technology research unit at Ghent University, Belgium, has determined for the first time the absolute density of active substances called radicals found in a state of matter known as plasma, in a study about to be published in European Physical Journal D. These findings could have important implications for medicine—for example, for stimulating tissue regeneration, or to induce a targeted antiseptic effect in vivo without affecting neighbouring tissues.

Qing Xiong and colleagues utilised laser fluorescence spectroscopy (LIF), a detection method used to estimate the density of radicals in plasma. Plasma is made of charged species, active molecules such as radicals and atoms.

The authors chose to focus on OH radicals because they are one of the most important reactive species in plasma science due to their high level of oxidation. This means that chemical reactions with OH initiate the destruction of harmful components either in the human body or in nature such as carbon monoxide, and methane.

The problem is that, up to now, laser-induced fluorescent capability to measure the absolute density of radicals has been very limited because of issues with registering and analysing the fluorescence signal.

In this study, the authors present a simplified model which takes into account energy transfer stemming from the radicals' vibrations. It can be used to analyse the LIF signal at regular atmospheric pressure. They then confirm the validity of their model experimentally, with a made of Argon gas mixed with .

The calculation of one-dimensional line-averaged OH density made in this paper could also be extended to a two-dimensional spatial resolution of the OH radicals in future work.

Explore further: Galaxy dust findings confound view of early Universe

More information: Q. Xiong, A. Nikiforov, L. Li2, N. Britun, R. Snyders, X. P. Lu, C. Leys, Absolute OH density determination by laser induced fluorescence spectroscopy in an atmospheric pressure RF plasma jet, European Physical Journal D, DOI: 10.1140/epjd/e2012-30474-8

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Free radicals maybe good for you

Feb 28, 2011

Fear of free radicals may be exaggerated, according to scientists from Karolinska Institutet. A new study, published in The Journal of Physiology, shows that free radicals act as signal substances that cause the heart to ...

Redefining 'clean'

Oct 31, 2011

Aiming to take "clean" to a whole new level, researchers at the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Maryland at College Park have teamed up to study how low-temperature plasmas can deactivate potentially ...

Recommended for you

Galaxy dust findings confound view of early Universe

4 hours ago

What was the Universe like at the beginning of time? How did the Universe come to be the way it is today?—big questions and huge attention paid when scientists attempt answers. So was the early-universe ...

Evidence mounts for quantum criticality theory

20 hours ago

A new study by a team of physicists at Rice University, Zhejiang University, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Florida State University and the Max Planck Institute adds to the growing body of evidence supporting ...

Scaling up armor systems

Jan 30, 2015

Dermal modification is a significant part of evolution, says Ranajay Ghosh, an associate research scientist in the College of Engineering. Almost every organism has something on its skin that provides important ...

Seeking cracks in the Standard Model

Jan 30, 2015

In particle physics, it's our business to understand structure. I work on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and this machine lets us see and study the smallest structure of all; unimaginably tiny fundamental partic ...

The first optically synchronised free-electron laser

Jan 30, 2015

Scientists at DESY have developed and implemented an optical synchronisation system for the soft X-ray free-electron laser FLASH, achieving facility-wide synchronisation with femtosecond precision. The performance ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.