Behnaz Bagheri

Computational Plasma-Biomaterials

We are an interdisciplinary group, with diverse backgrounds comprising plasma physics, condensed/soft matter physics, and mathematics. Our research is focused on understanding the complex interplay of non-thermal atmospheric pressure plasmas and biomaterials (biomolecules) for their applications in medicine, and agriculture. To do this, we develop and employ a multiscale computational approach combining quantum chemistry, classical Molecular Dynamics, and fluid-type models.

Research Profile

Non-thermal atmospheric pressure plasmas generated in gases such as air, O2, N2, He and Ar (flowing into ambient air) consist of chemically active ingredients (reactive oxygen- and nitrogen-based radicals), UV radiation and high electric fields which disturbs metabolism of microorganisms. These plasmas have emerged as a therapeutic modality against bacteria and a wide variety of cancer types. Our goal is to unravel the mechanism of cell death by plasma. To reach our goal, we collaborate extensively with (inter)national experimental colleagues.  

Multiscale computational approach

We cover the full range of plasma-biomaterials interaction from generation of plasma species in the gas phase, their transport and diffusion into liquid around the cells, to their interactions with cell membranes and membrane proteins. We start from quantum chemistry techniques (Coupled Cluster, Møller-Plesset, Density Functional Theory) and we develop force fields to be used in large scale classical Molecular Dynamics simulations. In addition, we model plasma on a mesoscopic scale using a so-called drift-diffusion-reaction fluid type model.