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Mounir Laroussi, is a Tunisian-American scientist. He is known for his work in plasma science, especially low temperature plasmas and their biomedical applications.
Mounir Laroussi was born in Sfax, Tunisia, the son of Habib Laroussi and Manana Jeloul. He attended the Alexander Dumas Elementary School and the Lycee Technique de Sfax (middle school and high school). He received his “Diplome d’Ingenieur” from the Ecole Nationale d’Ingenieurs de Sfax (ENIS) and completed his Master’s equivalent thesis in 1981 at the Ecole Nationale Superieure d’ Electronique et de Radioelectricite de Bordeaux (ENSERB. Since 2009, it is ENSEIRB-MATMECA), Bordeaux, France.
Academic and Scientific Career
Mounir Laroussi left Tunisia to the USA in 1981 to pursue his Doctoral studies in Electrical Engineering at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. After a couple of years studying analog electronics he changed course and pursued research in Plasma Science. This change of interest came after Laroussi took a plasma physics course under Professor Igor Alexeff. This led him to first join Professor Alexeff’s group where he carried out research on the Orbitron maser, a microwave source invented by Alexeff. He then joined Professor J. Reece Roth’s group to work on plasma turbulence and RF emission from Penning discharge plasmas. He finally earned his PhD degree in June 1988 with a research focus on plasma RF heating.
Mounir Laroussi now holds a Professor position at the Electrical & Computer Engineering Department of Old Dominion University (ODU) and is the Director of ODU’s Laser & Plasma Engineering Institute (LPEI). His research interests are in the Physical Electronics area and particularly in the physics and applications of non-equilibrium gaseous discharges. Amongst these are the generation of large volume low temperature plasmas, the interaction of microwaves with plasmas, and the biomedical applications of cold plasmas, a field known as “Plasma Medicine”. In the latter he published seminal papers on the interaction of low temperature plasmas with biological cells. In plasma medicine research, low temperature plasmas (or simply cold plasmas) are used to inactivate bacteria and proteins, assist in wound healing, destroy some types of cancer cells, and play an active role in various other medical therapies. In 2009 the Institute of Electric and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) elevated Mounir Laroussi to the grade of Fellow for his important contributions to the biomedical applications of plasmas. He was also awarded the inaugural achievement award from the International Society on Plasma Medicine in September 2010. Perhaps Mounir Laroussi’s best known invention is a device called the Plasma Pencil. This device can generate long plumes or jets of cold plasmas that can be used in various biomedical applications, including in dentistry. The Plasma Pencil was the subject of wide media coverage including a mention in an article in National Geographic (February 2006 issue), ABC online news, and was featured in a couple of science/technology shows on the History Channel and the Smithsonian Channel.
Mounir Laroussi served as an elected member of the Administrative Committee (2002–2005) and the Plasma Science and Applications Executive Committee (2005–2007) of the IEEE Nuclear and Plasma Sciences Society (NPSS). He has also served as a Guest Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, and of Plasma Processes and Polymers, a Wiley-VCH journal. Mounir Laroussi was the recipient of the IEEE Millennium Medal, 2000, the recipient of the Excellence in Research Award from the Batten College of Engineering and Technology, Old Dominion University, May 2005, the recipient of the Excellence in Teaching Award from the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, Old Dominion University, June 2006, the recipient of the Excellence in Innovation Award from the Hampton Road Technology Council, May 2006, and the Research Achievement Award, Old Dominion University, May 2009. He serves as an IEEE-NPSS Distinguished Lecturer.
In addition to his scientific work, Mounir Laroussi writes short stories and is an avid soccer player and fan. He is a fluent speaker of Arabic, French, and English.
- M. Laroussi, “Interaction of Microwaves with Atmospheric Pressure Plasmas”, Int. J. Infrared and Millimeter Waves 16, 2069, (1995).
- M. Laroussi, “Sterilization of Contaminated Matter with an Atmospheric Pressure Plasma”, IEEE Trans. Plasma Sci., Vol.24, No.3, pp. 1188–1191, (1996).
- M. Laroussi, J. P. Richardson, and F. C. Dobbs, “Effects of Non-Equilibrium Atmospheric Pressure Plasmas on the Heterotrophic Pathways of Bacteria and on their Cell Morphology”, Appl. Phys. Lett., Vol. 81, No. 4, pp. 772–774, (2002).
- M. Laroussi, “Non-Thermal Decontamination of Biological Media by Atmospheric Pressure Plasmas: Review, Analysis, and Prospects”, IEEE Trans. Plasma Sci., Vol. 30, No. 4, pp. 1409–1415, (2002).
- M. Laroussi, D. A. Mendis, and M. Rosenberg, “Plasma Interaction with Microbes”, New Journal of Physics, Vol. 5, pp. 41.1-41.10, (2003).
- M. Laroussi and F. Leipold, “Evaluation of the Roles of Reactive Species, Heat, and UV radiation in the Inactivation of bacterial Cells by Air Plasmas at Atmospheric Pressure”, Int. J. Mass Spectrom., Vol. 233, pp. 81–86, (2004).
- M. Laroussi and X. Lu, “Room Temperature Atmospheric Pressure Plasma Plume for Biomedical Applications”, Appl. Phys. Lett., Vol. 87, (2005).
- M. Laroussi, A. Fridman, and R. M. Satava, “Plasma Medicine”, Plasma Processes and Polymers, Vol. 5, No. 6, (2008).
- M. Laroussi, “Low Temperature Plasmas for Medicine?”, IEEE Trans. Plasma Sci., Vol. 37, No. 6, pp. 714–725, (2009).
- E. Karakas, A. Munyanyi, L. Greene, and M. Laroussi, “Destruction of a-Synuclein Based Amyloid Fibrils by Low Temperature Plasma Jets”, Appl. Phys. Lett. 97, 143702, (2010).
- E. Karakas, M. Laroussi “Experimental studies on the plasma bullet propagaton and its inhibiton”, J. Appl. Physics 108, 063305, 2010