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Plasma applications. A dermatological view

: Tiede, R.; Hirschberg, J.; Däschlein, G.; Wödtke, T. von; Viöl, W.; Emmert, S.


Contributions to plasma physics 54 (2014), Nr.2, S.118-130
ISSN: 0863-1042
ISSN: 1521-3986
ISSN: 0005-8025
Fraunhofer IST ()
atmospheric pressure plasma; plasma medicine; plasma jet; dielectric barrier discharge; ultraviolet radiation; reactive gas species; electric current; skin diseases

The ability to produce cold plasma at atmospheric pressure conditions was the basis for the rapid growth of plasma related application areas in biomedicine. Plasma comprises a multitude of active components such as charged particles, electric current, UV radiation, and reactive species which can act synergistically. The antiitch, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory effect was already demonstrated in in vivo and in vitro experiments and until now no resistance of pathogens against plasma treatment was observed. The combination of the different active agents and their broad range of positive effects on various diseases, especially easily accessible skin diseases, render plasma quite attractive for applications in medicine. Hence, plasma medicine as an independent and promising medical field has been emerged recently.
For medical applications two different types of cold plasma are suitable; indirect (plasma jet, plasma torch) and direct plasma sources (dielectric barrier discharge - DBD). So far, no standards and norms are defined for any of these plasma sources. Also, no convenient criteria for standardization of the quality rating of plasma in the view of dermatological applications exist. Although various cold plasma studies have been performed the results are hardly comparable, as physical parameters of the plasma devices, experimental conditions, and organisms used vary greatly. Therefore, standardized risk analyses are necessary for the assessment of different plasma sources. In this review two plasma sources are described and possible risk factors are discussed to estimate the safety of plasma used as a therapeutic tool in dermatology.