Thursday, September 12, 2013

Science Fair projects in microbiology using electric pulses to kill microbes

Science Fair projects in microbiology using electric pulses to kill microbes

High energy Pulsed Electric Fields ( PEF ) have been used for several years in the purification of processed fruit juices, milk, water, and other liquids. These processes use high voltages and short duration pulses because the liquids are flowing at a high velocity, due to the large volumes being processed. Current literature on the subject explains that lower voltages can be used if the number of pulses is increased and the volume is lowered. Some current applications of this are the control of microbial growth in cooling towers and backyard ponds. Beyond this, there is a tremendous possibility for growth and for this reason, someone making an early entry into this field may see some opportunities.

The image below demonstrates that while applying a DC voltage ( jar on far right ) does not have much effect on destroying microbes, the application of LVPEF ( low voltage pulsed electric fields ) can and does literally destroy almost all microbes ( Jar labeled "Zapped with CC2" ). 



 Science Fair Projects in Microbiology

These are a few published studies and a prior science fair project:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC529182/
http://www.usc.edu/CSSF/Current/Projects/J1609.pdf
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC154785/
http://www.aanos.org/documents/Eff%20of%20Elect%20Stim%20on%20Bact%20Grwth.pdf
http://www.rehab.research.va.gov/jour/04/41/2/merriman.html
http://pacificjunction.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Inactivation-of-Bacteria-in-Seawater-by-Low-Amperage-Electric-Current-Appl.-Environ.-Microbiol.-2003-Park-2405-8.pdf