Decontaminative Properties of Cold Atmospheric Plasma Treatment on Collagen Membranes Used for Guided Bone Regeneration

Background cold atmospheric plasma (CAP) is known to be a surface-friendly yet antimicrobial and activating process for surfaces such as titanium. The aim of the present study was to describe the decontaminating effects of CAP on contaminated collagen membranes and their influence on the properties of this biomaterial in vitro. Material and Methods: A total of n = 18 Bio-Gide® (Geistlich Biomaterials, Baden-Baden, Germany) membranes were examined. The intervention group was divided as follows: n = 6 membranes were treated for one minute, and n = 6 membranes were treated for five minutes with CAP using kINPen® MED (neoplas tools GmbH, Greifswald, Germany) with an output of 5 W, respectively. A non-CAP-treated group (n = 6) served as the control. The topographic alterations were evaluated via X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Afterward, the samples were contaminated with E. faecalis for 6 days, and colony-forming unit (CFU) counts and additional SEM analyses were performed. The CFUs increased with CAP treatment time in our analyses, but SEM showed that the surface of the membranes was essentially free from bacteria. However, the deeper layers showed remaining microbial conglomerates. Furthermore, we showed, via XPS analysis, that increasing the CAP time significantly enhances the carbon (carbonyl group) concentration, which also correlates negatively with the decontaminating effects of CAP. Conclusions: Reactive carbonyl groups offer a potential mechanism for inhibiting the growth of E. faecalis on collagen membranes after cold atmospheric plasma treatment.

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