Chemical reactions of amino acids induced by discharge plasma are important for understanding the mechanism of biological effects of discharge plasma in biomedical applications. In this study, we generated a nano-second pulsed discharge plasma under atmospheric pressure over an aqueous solution containing glycine. The reaction products after the pulsed discharge plasma treatments were analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectroscopy. The oligomerization reaction of glycine was induced in aqueous solution and produced glycine oligomers at the beginning of the discharge plasma. However, the glycine oligomers were decomposed into products with low molecular weight by excessive pulsed discharge plasma. According to comparative experiments, physical force of the plasma is believed to induce the glycine reaction. Moreover, the reactions depended on the pH, but not the conductivity, of the glycine solution. Glycine in aqueous solution was reacted by the discharge plasma only at neutral pH because the reaction proceeded only when glycine ions were in the zwitterionic state. Anions and cations of glycine reacted very little under the discharge plasma.
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