Kateryna Bazaka*, Kostya (Ken) Ostrikov


Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Queensland University of Technology
Brisbane, QLD, Australia


The efficacy of the presently-available range of antibiotics is incessantly compromised by their indiscriminative and often excessive use, leading to the development of multi-drug resistant microorganisms and ongoing pressure on human health and environment. Biologically-active agents from plants or microorganisms are actively studied as a means to expand the available range of existing pharmaceuticals, e.g. synthetic antibiotics, with molecules that have different mechanism of activity, yet these often lack sufficient activity and selectivity. Chemical or heat-based enhancement in performance have been demonstrated, however the former methods are agent-specific, multi-step, costly and/or time-consuming, and the improvements attained with the latter are transient.

In this presentation, we will discuss how non-equilibrium conditions of atmospheric-pressure plasma can be used for simple, rapid, single-step potentiation of activity of plant-derived terpenes without the use of chemicals or heating.  Substantial potentiation of activity against Staphylococcus aureus cells in planktonic and biofilm states is observed in both inherently antibacterial terpenes, e.g. terpinen-4-ol, and compounds generally considered to have limited effect against S. aureus, e.g. γ-terpinene. Thus-activated terpenes are effective against S. aureus, Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa in planktonic and biofilm states.

The improved biological activity is attributed to the plasma-induced altercations in the physico-chemical properties of the terpenes, specifically from the interactions with plasma-generated chemical species and physical effects, such as electric fields and UV irradiation.

This activation approach is generic, and thus can potentially be applied to other molecules and their mixtures in an effort to expand the range of effective antimicrobial agents for deactivation of pathogenic organisms in hygiene, medical and food applications.


Biographic Details

Name: Dr Kateryna Bazaka

Title: Senior Lecturer

Affiliation, Country: Queensland University of Technology, Australia

Phone: +61 7 31382165 E-mail: kateryna.bazaka@qut.edu.au

Research interests: atmospheric pressure plasmas, nanomedicine, antibacterial agents