It is well established that atmospheric pressure glow discharges are capable of bacterial inactivation. Much less known is their ability to destruct infectious proteins, even though surgical instruments are often contaminated by both bacteria and proteinaceous matters. In this letter, the authors present a study of protein destruction using a low-temperature atmospheric dielectric-barrier discharge jet. Clear evidences of protein removal are presented with data of several complimentary experiments using scanning electron microscopy, electron dispersive x-ray analysis, electrophoresis, laser-induced fluorescence microscopy, and protein reduction kinetics. Considerable degradation is observed of protein fragments that remain on their substrate surface after plasma treatment.

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