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: Using large cryogenic pellets, US ITER advances new fusion technology

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

Hide and seek: Sterile neutrinos remain elusive

9 hours ago

The Daya Bay Collaboration, an international group of scientists studying the subtle transformations of subatomic particles called neutrinos, is publishing its first results on the search for a so-called ...

Novel approach to magnetic measurements atom-by-atom

14 hours ago

Having the possibility to measure magnetic properties of materials at atomic precision is one of the important goals of today's experimental physics. Such measurement technique would give engineers and physicists an ultimate ...

Scientists demonstrate Stokes drift principle

17 hours ago

In nature, waves – such as those in the ocean – begin as local oscillations in the water that spread out, ripple fashion, from their point of origin. But fans of Star Trek will recall a different sort of wave pattern: ...

User comments : 0