Jump to Topics

IISc scientists test ‘lightning tech’ to kill multidrug-resistant bacteria

IISc scientists test ‘lightning tech’ to kill multidrug-resistant bacteria

Bengaluru scientists at IISc have tested plasma-activated water for its strong bactericidal effect against multidrug-resistant pathogens.
Illustration of bacteria
Representational image | Shutterstock

Scientists at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) have demonstrated how a process that occurs naturally during lightning strikes recreated in the lab can be used to inactivate multidrug-resistant pathogens.

The study, which tested the ability of plasma-activated water – water that has higher concentrations of free oxygen and nitrogen produced by discharging plasma into it at low temperatures – found that it was effective in killing these pathogens.

Plasma is the fourth state of matter, after solids, liquids, and gases. Lightning is a common example of plasma, and in nature it causes oxygen and nitrogen to get dissolved in water.

The IISc researchers were able to increase the concentration of free radicals of these elements using techniques such as increasing the velocity of the water by placing it in a funnel and cooling it down.

Moreover, the reactive oxygen and nitrogen (RON) created in the lab – H2O2, NO2−, and NO3 – was far more long-lasting than what is found in nature, giving it the ability to be used as a medium to inactivate the multidrug resistant bacteria.

The plasma-activated water can act as a bactericide for up to 1-2 weeks, they said.

Also read: Bacteriophage therapy: an age-old answer to combat antibiotic resistance

“Typically, a high concentration of long‐lived RONS species is believed to exhibit greater bactericidal activity and can also potentially target multidrug resistant (MDR) pathogens,” IISc said in a statement.

In terms of its uses, they said the newly generated plasma water was an effective tool to tackle multidrug resistant pathogens for which there are few treatments available. The plasma water can be used as a disinfectant on skin and in treating burns and wounds.

The future scope of this study includes more in-depth study into the generation of this plasma water and a better understanding into the chemistry of the RON formation in the water, the researchers added.

Share Your Experience/Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



CPR or cardiopulmonary resuscitation is an emergency lifesaving procedure performed when the heart stops beating. According to American Heart Association, immediate CPR can double or triple chances of survival after cardiac arrest. Keeping the blood flow active, even partially, extends the opportunity for a successful resuscitation once trained medical staff arrive on site. It is an important lifesaving first-aid tool that can be performed by anyone.
A new lifestyle adaptation seems to be about breaking a set of habits that are not as innocuous as they are believed to be
Chocolates have been credited for providing better heart health. According to a study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology in 2020, eating chocolate at least once a week helps reduce the risk of heart disease. The study says that eating chocolate more than once a week was associated with an eight per cent decreased risk of coronary artery disease. But how does one choose a good dark chocolate? Watch to find out.
People with vitamin D deficiency have a lower insulin secretion than those with optimal levels of the vitamin, according to some studies




Opt-in To Our Daily Newsletter

* Please check your Spam folder for the Opt-in confirmation mail
We use cookies to customize your user experience, view our policy here

Your feedback has been submitted successfully.

The Happiest Health team will reach out to you at the earliest