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: New technology makes creating ultrashort infrared laser pulses easy and cheap

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

New pathway to valleytronics

15 hours ago

A potential avenue to quantum computing currently generating quite the buzz in the high-tech industry is "valleytronics," in which information is coded based on the wavelike motion of electrons moving through ...

New portable vacuum standard

Jan 26, 2015

A novel Portable Vacuum Standard (PVS) has been added to the roster of NIST's Standard Reference Instruments (SRI). It is now available for purchase as part of NIST's ongoing commitment to disseminate measurement ...

Hybrid memory device for superconducting computing

Jan 26, 2015

A team of NIST scientists has devised and demonstrated a novel nanoscale memory technology for superconducting computing that could hasten the advent of an urgently awaited, low-energy alternative to power-hungry conventional ...

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.