Working group Plasma Biomedicine

Plasma medicine is an emerging field that deals with the medical applications of plasma, which is often referred to as the fourth state of matter. Cold atmospheric pressure plasma is studied for its potential for various medical treatments. Plasma can produce several biologically active substances, such as reactive oxygen and nitrogen species, charged particles, and ultraviolet radiation. These substances can have antimicrobial, wound-healing, and anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore, clinical application in the field of wound healing is well established, as plasma can help kill bacteria and promote tissue regeneration.

One of the most important current areas of application is in oncology, as plasma has shown promise in treating certain types of cancer by specifically killing cancer cells while sparing healthy tissue.

Despite its great potential, plasma medicine is still at an early stage of development, and more research is needed to completely understand its mechanisms and optimize its clinical applications.

Therefore, we are addressing questions that shed more light on the anti-tumourigenic effect of plasma at the cellular level, for example, in adhesion processes or signal transduction. Furthermore, it is of great interest whether a synergistic effect with plasma can optimize the medical effect of established therapeutics or novel molecules.

The following questions are currently the focus of our scientific interest:

  • Analysis of cell physiology under the influence of atmospheric pressure plasma.
  • Cytotoxicity, proliferation, apoptosis
  • Organization of cell-cell contacts (tight junctions)
  • Intracellular signal transduction, translocation of proteins
  • Cell morphology, microvilli
  • Adhesion processes, migration
  • Simultaneous influence of physical plasma and therapeutic compounds

Legend: Persistent effectivity of gas plasma-treated, long time-stored liquid on epithelial cell membrane morphology. The cell culture medium was plasma-treated (atmospheric pressure argon plasma jet kINPen®09, 60 s) and long-time stored for 7 d. The plasma-mediated changes in the medium were stable and reduced the number of microvilli on the cell membrane significantly (right) vs. the control cells (left).  (Scanning electron microscopy DSM960A, Carl Zeiss, 60°, scale bars 4 µm).
[images adopted from: i) Bergemann C…Höntsch M…Nebe B et al., Plasma Science and Technology - Progress in Physical States and Chemical Reactions, 2016, edited by Tetsu Mieno, dx.doi.org/10.5772/61980; and ii) Hoentsch M… von Woedtke…Nebe B et al.,  PLoS ONE 2014, 9(8): e104559. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0104559].

[Translate to English:] Kooperationspartner:

Leibniz Institute for Plasma Science and Technology (INP) e.V. Greifswald

 

Institut de Science des Matériaux de Mulhouse (IS2M),
CNRS, Université de Haute-Alsace, Mulhouse, France

 

INNOVENT Jena e.V.

 

Klinik und Poliklinik für Mund-Kiefer-Gesichtschirurgie/Plastische Operationen
Universitätsmedizin Greifswald

 

Coat-X AG, Switzerland

 

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