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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 plasma effect takes place when it strikes surfaces. Therefore, the ionized gas is used in medicine as a helping agent for healing wounds and for asepsis. Studies on patients with chronic wounds have found that therapy with cold plasma results in a significant reduction in microorganisms on the skin’s surface. It has also been established that this stimulates the growth and proliferation of endothelial cells and activates regenerative processes in the lower strata of skin. Another effect is that the electrical fields and heat also stimulate micro-circulation. This improves the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the tissue.
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 med 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.