Volume 10, Issue 1 p3411 (2020)
Irradiation with deep-ultraviolet light-emitting diodes (DUV LEDs) is emerging as a low energy, chemical-free approach to mitigate microbial contamination, but the effect of surface conditions on treatment effectiveness is not well understood. Here, inactivation of L. innocua and E. coli ATCC25922, as examples of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, respectively, by DUV LED of 280 nm wavelength was studied. Surface scenarios commonly encountered in environmental, clinical or food processing environments were used: nutrient rich surfaces, thin liquid films (TLF), and stainless steel surfaces (SS). DUV LED exposure achieved 5-log reduction for both strains within 10 min in most scenarios, except for TLF thicker than 0.6 mm. Inactivation kinetics in TLF and on dry SS followed the Weibull model (0.96 ≤ R2 ≤ 0.99), but the model overestimated inactivation by small-dose DUV on wet SS. Confocal microscopy revealed in situ that bacteria formed a dense outer layer at the liquid-air interface of the liquid droplet, protecting the cells inside the droplet from the bactericidal DUV. This resulted in lower than anticipated inactivation on wet SS at small DUV doses, and deviation from the Weibull model. These findings can be used to design effective DUV LED disinfection strategies for various surface conditions and applications.
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