In this paper we describe the hitherto unravelled facts on the interactions of a cold atm. plasma with living cells and tissues. A specially designed source, plasma needle, is a low-power discharge, which operates under the threshold of tissue damage. When applied properly, the needle does not cause fatal cell injury which would result in cell death (necrosis). Instead, it allows precise and localized cell removal by means of the so-called cell detachment. In addn., plasma can be used for bacterial disinfection. Because of mild treatment conditions, plasma disinfection can be performed in vivo, e.g. on wounds and dental cavities. Presently, one strives to obtain a better control of the operating device. Therefore, plasma has been characterized using a variety of diagnostics, and a smart system has been designed for the positioning of the device with respect to the treated surface.