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Treatment of chronic venous leg ulcers with a hand-held DBD plasma generator

ICPM 4 Special Issue article
: Emmert, S.; Brehmer, F.; Hänßle, H.; Helmke, A.; Mertens, N.; Ahmed, R.; Simon, D.; Wandke, D.; Schön, M.P.; Maus-Friedrichs, W.; Viöl, W.; Däschlein, G.


Plasma medicine 2 (2012), No.1-3, pp.19-32
ISSN: 1947-5772 (Online)
ISSN: 1947-5764 (Print)
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IST ()

In cold plasma medicine antiinflammatory, antiitch, antimicrobic, UV, and other therapeutic modalities are combined within one treatment. Two types of cold plasma can be discerned: Direct (dielectric barrier discharge ? DBD) and indirect plasma (plasma torch, plasma jet). DBD generates a low temperature plasma under atmospheric pressure. The PlasmaDerm? VU-2010 device is a non-invasive active medical intervention which does not reach direct skin contact. For our medical application, a non-equilibrium, weakly ionized physical DBD plasma is generated by the application of high voltages across small gaps, whereas the electrode is covered by a dielectric. The skin itself acts as the second electrode. Chronic leg ulcers are a major problem in the eldery. The prevalence corresponds to 2-4 % in the population. 80% of chronic leg ulcers are caused by varicosis. Generally, three phases of wound healing (cleaning of the wound ground, granulation, and epithelialisation) can be discerned that are disturbed in chronic venous leg ulcers. Wound debridement, modern wound dressings and compression hosiery comprise methods of standard care. Despite these measures leg ulcers often persist. Additional plasma treatment may have the potential to facilitate wound healing by disinfection, stimulation of tissue regeneration and microcirculation, and acidification of the wound environment. We are currently conducting a clinical trial with the PlasmaDerm? VU-2010 device to assess safety, applicability, and efficacy of chronic venous leg ulcer plasma treatment. The trial is still ongoing. So far, no adverse events of plasma treatment were reported pointing towards a positive outcome of our study.