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New Journal of Physics Features Laroussi on Web Page

An interview with Mounir Laroussi, a cold plasma expert on the engineering faculty of Old Dominion University, appears with his picture on the Web page of the New Journal of Physics (NJP) as part of the international journal's celebration of the top articles it has published since it was founded 10 years ago.


In the interview, Laroussi discusses how he became interested in plasmas and has been a pioneer in the application of non-thermal plasma in medicine. Access to the interview is restricted, but most people in the ODU community can find it at



NJP announced late last year that it had selected a paper about the germ-killing potential of cold plasmas authored by Laroussi as one of the most significant articles it published during the last decade.


The paper, "Plasma Interaction with Microbes," which originally was published in 2003, is in a special collection of article summaries commemorating the 10th anniversary of the journal in 2008.  NJP debuted in 1998 as a publication of the Institute of Physics and the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft.


In this paper, Laroussi and his co-authors demonstrated a correlation between electrostatic forces caused by charging effects in a plasma and experimentally observed morphological changes in bacterial cells. After its publication, this paper became one of the most downloaded papers and was added to the "select" list of the Institute of Physics.


Laroussi, ODU associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, is director of the university's Laser and Plasma Engineering Institute (LPEI). The plasma pencil, a hand-held device like a miniature light-saber that Laroussi introduced in 2005, was the subject of news reports in National Geographic and numerous other publications around the world.


The plasma pencil generates a thin plume of charged gas that can kill certain cells and bacteria. Researchers hope that cold plasmas will have applications ranging from killing the bacteria that cause dental plaque to eradicating tumors. Plume therapies have been able to kill targeted cells without damaging surrounding tissue.


Laroussi is first author of the paper in NJP. His co-authors are D. A. Mendis, an astrophysicist and professor emeritus at the University of California, San Diego, and Marlene Rosenberg of the electrical and computer engineering faculty at UCSD.

This article was posted on: February 27, 2008

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