<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >
A chemical equation showing hydrogen peroxide being broken down to water and oxygen by catalase. Below is an image of hydrogen peroxide in a bottle and contact cleaner.
Catalase enzymatically converts highly reactive hydrogen peroxide (H 2 O 2 ) into water and oxygen. Hydrogen peroxide can be used to clean wounds. Hydrogen peroxide is used to sterilize items such as contact lenses. (credit photos: modification of work by Kerry Ceszyk)

Plasma, a hot, ionized gas, described as the fourth state of matter, is useful for sterilizing equipment because it penetrates surfaces and kills vegetative cells and endospores. Hydrogen peroxide and peracetic acid , another commonly used peroxygen, each may be introduced as a plasma. Peracetic acid can be used as a liquid or plasma sterilant insofar as it readily kills endospores, is more effective than hydrogen peroxide even at rather low concentrations, and is immune to inactivation by catalases and peroxidases. It also breaks down to environmentally innocuous compounds; in this case, acetic acid and oxygen.

Other examples of peroxygens include benzoyl peroxide and carbamide peroxide . Benzoyl peroxide is a peroxygen that used in acne medication solutions. It kills the bacterium Propionibacterium acnes , which is associated with acne. Carbamide peroxide, an ingredient used in toothpaste, is a peroxygen that combats oral biofilms that cause tooth discoloration and halitosis (bad breath). Yao, C.S. et al. “In vitro antibacterial effect of carbamide peroxide on oral biofilm.” Journal of Oral Microbiology Jun 12, 2013. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3682087/. doi: 10.3402/jom.v5i0.20392. Last, ozone gas is a peroxygen with disinfectant qualities and is used to clean air or water supplies. Overall, peroxygens are highly effective and commonly used, with no associated environmental hazard.

  • How do peroxides kill cells?

Supercritical fluids

Within the last 15 years, the use of supercritical fluids , especially supercritical carbon dioxide (scCO 2 ), has gained popularity for certain sterilizing applications. When carbon dioxide is brought to approximately 10 times atmospheric pressure, it reaches a supercritical state that has physical properties between those of liquids and gases. Materials put into a chamber in which carbon dioxide is pressurized in this way can be sterilized because of the ability of scCO 2 to penetrate surfaces.

Supercritical carbon dioxide works by penetrating cells and forming carbonic acid , thereby lowering the cell pH considerably. This technique is effective against vegetative cells and is also used in combination with peracetic acid to kill endospores. Its efficacy can also be augmented with increased temperature or by rapid cycles of pressurization and depressurization, which more likely produce cell lysis.

Benefits of scCO 2 include the nonreactive, nontoxic, and nonflammable properties of carbon dioxide, and this protocol is effective at low temperatures. Unlike other methods, such as heat and irradiation, that can degrade the object being sterilized, the use of scCO 2 preserves the object’s integrity and is commonly used for treating foods (including spices and juices) and medical devices such as endoscopes. It is also gaining popularity for disinfecting tissues such as skin, bones, tendons, and ligaments prior to transplantation. scCO 2 can also be used for pest control because it can kill insect eggs and larvae within products.

Questions & Answers

Hi, I'm new here. I'm Bello Abdul Hakeem from Nigeria.
BELLO Reply
welcome on board
Kamaluddeen
Thanks brother I'm an undergraduate. I hope to study for MBBS.
BELLO
pls guys help me out
Linda
what is limitation of plate
Linda
limitation of plate load test . there are some that should be considered while performing load test which are given below, this test is usually performed on relatively similar plate ,usually 1 or 2 square foot area the reason is that the plate of greater are the economically not feasible
yemi
Mechanism of bacterial pathogenicity
rashida Reply
Toxicity
Ibrahim
write a short note on Algea
najaatu Reply
green minutes plants organisms that are produced in turf.
Prince
Algae is a kind of a photosynthetic organism, which is usually grown in the moist areas. These are usually the simple plants that grow near to the water bodies. It contains a kind of chlorophyll pigments that act as a primary coloring agent.
Avi
they are eukaryotic and most lived in fresh water. they are photosynthetic that's, they contain chlorophyll and store starch in discrete chloroplast.
Prince
are bacteria important to man
just Reply
yes, depending on the type of bacteria .eg the normal florals, the latic acid batteries etc are important to man
Lois
I mean latic acid bacterial
Lois
I don't understand this topic
Jane Reply
what topic is that
Rose
sahi kon hai bhosri ke
saurabh Reply
define metabolism of carbohydrates with example
Thavasi Reply
what is sterilization a
Sani
the process of keep equipment free from bacteria
shar
is it only bacteria?
Lois
no undesirable fungi and contamination also.
Khushbu
what is streak plate method
Offikwu
what is the biofilm
Dimingu
metabolism is the sum of all the biochemical reaction required for energy generation and use of that energy to synthesize cell materials from small molecules in environment.
Alex
boclenia
Pooja
what are granulocytes
Shawnitta Reply
e.coli
Sukhdeep
granulocytes are type of WBCs which contains granules in the cytoplasm
Owili
suitable example for prokaryotes
Suvetha Reply
one of the possible early sources of energy was
Suvetha
uv radiation and lighting
Anisha
e coli is the example of prokaryotes
Sukhdeep
archaea too
Noel
which is the specific virus causing typhoid
Jeremiah Reply
it's caused by a virulent bacteria called Salmonella Typhi
Sarah
write the life cycle of HIV
Firomsa Reply
describe the internal and external structure of prokaryotic cell in terms of there appearance and functions
Lenia Reply
compare and contrast similar structures found in prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells
Lenia
control of microorganisms
ISTEFAZUL Reply
what is sterilization
Sani
how can a doctor treat a person affected by endospore forming bacteria in his/her wound?
Mambo Reply
define disinfectant
Sani
the process of killing
shar
the process of killing microorganisms
shar
a 28 years old woman come to your clinic with complain of fever painful genital blisters which express clear fluid when ruptured burning sensation around the bristers what is the diagnosis?
Ramadhani Reply
genital herpes caused by a virus called herpe simplex virus
Doris

Get the best Microbiology course in your pocket!





Source:  OpenStax, Microbiology. OpenStax CNX. Nov 01, 2016 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col12087/1.4
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Microbiology' conversation and receive update notifications?

Ask