Uptake and diffusion of plasma-generated reactive nitrogen species through keratinized membrane

Yeon Ho Im, Zilan Xiong, Daniel T. Elg, David B. Graves

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


We propose a mathematical model for uptake and diffusion of air plasma-generated reactive nitrogen species (RNS) in a model keratinized membrane, such as a thin slice of bovine hoof or human nail material. An experimental system consisting of a surface microdischarge (SMD) in air was designed for the purpose of developing and validating a reaction-diffusion model to describe this system. Key variables such as membrane effective diffusivity, surface reaction rate coefficients, and other parameters are determined through comparison between the model predictions and experimental measurements. The model results yield spatial and temporal concentration profiles of RNS inside the keratinized membrane, leading to an improved understanding of transport and reaction of plasma generated RNS through the membrane. This work offers insights into possible mechanisms underlying plasma treatment of toenail fungus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number195201
JournalJournal of Physics D: Applied Physics
Issue number19
StatePublished - Mar 5 2019
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


  • Atmospheric pressure plasma
  • RONS
  • antifungal
  • onychomycosis
  • plasma medicine
  • plasma modeling
  • plasma-liquid interactions


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