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Plasma in Medicine
Medical plasma is produced by applying large amounts of energy to a gas. This makes the gas atoms or molecules lose their outer electrons. The resulting ions (atoms missing one or more electrons) move around freely and, at the same time, influence each other. A plasma is a partly ionised gas that has a number of special components. In addition to the reactive ions and electrons, these are also UV radiation, visible light, thermal radiation, electromagnetic fields and excited oxygen and nitrogen species.
The astounding effect of plasma is created when this mix comes into contact with surfaces. In medicine, therefore, the ionised gas is used as an assistant in wound healing and for asepsis. Medical examinations on patients with chronic wounds have revealed a significant reduction of microorganisms on the skin surface after cold plasma therapy. It has also been found to stimulate growth and proliferation of endothelial cells and to activate regenerative processes in deeper layers of the skin. The electric fields and the heat promote microcirculation as a further effect. This improves the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the tissue.
Picture: INP Greifswald
With cold plasma, it is possible to inactivate a wide range of microorganisms, including antibiotic-resistant bacteria. They are killed without damaging healthy body cells. At 40 degrees Celsius, cold plasma is ideally suited to heal painlessly without anesthesia. One application is wound treatment. The plasma jet kINPen®MED from neoplas tools GmbH, a spin-off from the INP Greifswald e. V. is certified as a medical device class IIa and is already being used successfully in the treatment of chronic wounds and pathogen dermatitis in dermatology. But also in the use in dentistry and implantology is being researched. Of particular interest are recent research that suggests a possible inactivation of tumor cells and could give hope for opportunities in cancer treatment.
The advances in plasma medicine are large and thus contribute to the increased use of plasma medicine. Among other things, the National Center for Plasma Medicine e. V. was founded to promote research and development in the field of plasma medicine in Germany.