Plasma Medicine & Its Applications

Electrical power and discharges have been used for decades in electro-surgery for blood coagulation, tissue removal, etc. Plasma scientists have recently realized that low temperature plasmas are quite useful for various other medical treatments, including hand/skin sterilization, wound healing, cell apoptosis/regeneration, and so on. These applications of low temperature plasmas represent an emerging and rapidly growing frontier in low temperature plasma science and technology. A deeper understanding of the nature of these phenomena is indispensable for future technological development. We are collaborating with engineers, biologists, and medical doctors around the world in this rapidly growing and very promising new area.

Plasma-assisted gene transfection against breast cancer

Atmospheric pressure plasmas for Onychomycosis (Fungal nail) treatment
(Zilan Xiong, Jeff Roe, Tim Grammar)

Onychomycosis is a common fungal infection of the nail with significant barriers to successful treatment. The prevalence of onychomycosis is estimated to affect 10% of the world’s adult population , particularly the elderly and patients with immunodeficiency diseases such as HIV, diabetes and circulatory disorders. Contributing to treatment difficulty is the challenge of getting topical antifungal agents through the nail.The Onychomycosis healing ratio is lower than 10% by current treatment options. Systemic oral medications have a higher cure rate, but cost and toxic side effects (e.g. liver problems) are both serious concerns.

Nonthermal plasma in air generates antimicrobial reactive oxygen and nitrogen species at near-room temperature. Reactive plasma species, at the moderate concentrations and doses found in nonthermal plasma streams, appear to cause little to no permanent damage to living tissue, while being capable of efficiently destroying microbial cells. Our study focuses on using atmospheric pressure plasma to treat Onychomycosis. This project is cooperated with DeviceFarm founded by Dr. Jeff Roe and Dr. Tim Grammar.

Disinfection of contact lenses by using atmospheric pressure plasma (Zilan Xiong

A contact lens, or simply contact, is a thin lens placed directly on the surface of the eye. Directly to the eyeball, it may cause some eye infection disease by bacteria, fungus, virus, Acanthamoeba, etc. A typical example of eye infection disease by wearing contact lenses is keratitis.  The existing disinfection solutions or devices like Multipurpose solutions, Saline solution, Daily cleaner, Hydrogen peroxide systems, Enzymatic cleaner, Ultraviolet, vibration or ultrasound devices. Aiming to develop a novel, high efficiency, easy taken, cheap, and convenient disinfection device by using atmospheric pressure air plasma. This project is found by the world's third largest contact company.-CooperVision.

Investigation of Plasma Induced Biomolecular Crosslinking and Its Influence in Plasma Medical Treatment         

Recently, plasma medicine attracts enormous attention owing to its outstanding efficacy in solving many knotty medical problems such as cancer, chronic wound and root canal infection. The synthetic or even synergistic effect of plasma in curing (photos, heat, charge species along with radicals) has been discovered, which leads to a better treatment than that of any factor alone. The more detail mechanism is important for not only academic research but also better tuning of therapy, which deserves more investigation from multi-disciplinary cooperation.

Plasma induced biomolecular crosslinking might be one of the major contribution to plasma therapeutic effect, to best of our knowledge, which is rarely studied and to be reported in literature. In order to further understand crosslinking mechanism and its influence, it is outstandingly crucial to investigate 1) interaction between plasma and biomolecules; 2) response of plasma crosslinked biomolecules to the living cells or tissue. Our goal is to discover the role and significance of plasma induced biomolecular crosslinking in the field of plasma medicine.

Uptake and diffusion modeling of plasma generated reactive species into biomaterial
(Yeon Ho Im)

Recently, plasma interactions with biomaterial have attracted great interest in the field of plasma medicine. In spite of their importance, our limited knowledge in this research area prevent us to understand the basic physicochemical phenomena for the potential applications. To address this issue, this work focuses on numerical modeling for plasma interactions with biomaterial in order to elucidate the basic behavior for diffusion and uptake of plasma generated reactive species into biomaterial.