Towards plasma surgery : plasma treatment of living cells

E. Stoffels - Adamowicz, I.E. Kieft, R.E.J. Sladek, D.W. Slaaf, E.P. Laan, van der, P. Jimenez Moreno, M. Steinbuch

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review


The physical, biological and technical background for high-precision plasma surgery is prepared in a multi-disciplinary team. The aim of the research is to achieve controlled removal of diseased cells and bacteria without harming the healthy rest of the tissue. For this purpose, a small, cold, flexible and non-toxic plasma is developed (the plasma needle) and tested on cultured cells and bacterial samples. The needle is an atmospheric discharge induced by a radio-frequency voltage applied to a metal pin. This plasma operates at room temperature, in the milliwatt power regime; it poses no risk of thermal or electrical damage to living tissues. Several beneficial responses of living cells to plasma treatment have been already identified. Plasma does not cause accidental cell death (necrosis), which leads to inflammation and tissue damage. Instead, it allows to detach cells from each other and from the scaffold, and thus to remove them in a non-destructive way. Moreover, plasma is capable of bacterial inactivation. I parallel, we have determined the electrical and optical properties of the plasma and found a method of precise positioning of the plasma needle with respect to the treated tissue
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe physics of ionized gases : 22nd Summer School and International Symposium on the Physics of Ionized Gases; Invited Lectures, Topical Invited Lectures and Progress Reports
Publication statusPublished - 2004

Publication series

NameAIP Conference Proceedings
ISSN (Print)0094-243X


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