Worldwide chronic wounds affect 140 million people. In the Netherlands the number of people suffering from chronic wounds is 500.000.
Chronic wounds have a high impact on quality of life and on survival rate. For example, the 5-year survival rate in diabetic foot ulcers is even lower compared to prostate cancer and breast cancer. Also chronic wounds result in amputations in 15% of the diabetic foot ulcers and 5% of the venous leg ulcers.
On average, non-healing wound costs €13.500 per year.
Plasma is ionized gas, the the so-called 4th stage of matter (1. solid, 2. liquid, 3. gas, 4. plasma). A plasma is created by adding energy to a gas. Plasma is a mix of electrons and ions, reactive species, UV radiation, visible light, electromagnetic fields and heat. Plasma exists in nature, for example the sun, which is so hot that it consists of a hot plasma. With an artificially produced plasma it is possible to keep the temperature low, not much higher than body temperature. We call this a cold plasma, which can be applied in or on the human body.
Cold plasma kills bacteria, even antibiotic resistant ones. Additionally, it can improve local blood supply (microcirculation) and stimulate cells to grow (cell proliferation) and move (cell migration).
All types of chronic wounds can be treated with cold plasma. For example: diabetic foot wounds, venous leg wounds, bedsores, hard-to-heal burn wounds and infected postoperative wounds.
Various studies are in progress regarding cold plasma as a treatment for cancer. Cold plasma is also used in dentistry for disinfection and in dermatology.
During the study 20 patients with diabetic foot ulcers were treated with cold plasma. The wounds of these patients had existed on average for 3 years. The median wound surface decrease in two weeks was 55%. The number of Staphylococcus aureus colonies decreased significantly directly after plasma treatment compared with prior to application.
The frequency and the number of treatments depends on the type of chronic wound and the size. Typically, the treatment will be done 2 to 3 times per week for several weeks. PLASOMA treatment itself is only 2 minutes.
The product is not on the market yet and can only be used for clinical studies at this moment.