Plasma is 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. As a result, the gas ionizes and various reactive species are formed.
Plasma medicine is a new field of application of cold plasma. Plasma is called ‘cold’ when the temperature is not far above the body temperature. Cold plasma is already widely used in industry to pre-treat and clean surfaces. It is also used to sterilize medical equipment. In plasma medicine, cold plasma is applied on or in the human body. A cocktail of reactive species is created such as ozone, nitrogen oxides and hydrogenperoxide, which are very effective in killing bacteria and stimulating cell proliferation and microcirculation in the wound.
Direct cold plasma
Plasmacure uses a direct plasma, where the entire volume between the cold plasma pad and the wound is filled with cold plasma, in a closed system. This is potentially the most effective type of cold plasma for wound healing for 4 reasons:
- The plasma makes direct contact with the wound, allowing all reactive species, including the short-living ones, and the electric field to have their effect on the wound (1, 2).
- The plasma is created in a closed system, so that the reactive species cannot escape to the ambient air (3).
- An electrical current runs through the wound area (with a defined route), which can also promote wound healing (4).
The basic principle can be seen in the figure opposite: the plasma is between the electrode and (here) the finger.
Medical benefits of direct cold plasma
The medical benefits of a strong direct plasma for wound healing are:
- Efficient killing of bacteria.
- Stimulating cell proliferation in the wound
- Improvement of the microcirculation in the wound area.