Cold physical plasma – an innovation leap in medicine
Definition of plasma
Looking at the star-studded sky we see – plasma! As a fact, more than 99 % of our visible universe is in the plasma state.
Plasma is the name of a special excited state of a gas, which is also called the fourth aggregate state next to solid, liquid and gaseous, and should not be confused with the liquid, cell-free blood component.
The input of energy transforms solid matter first into a liquid, then into a gas and further energy transfer induces plasma.
During this process, the mobility of the atoms and molecules forming the substance is increased until they reach free mobility in the gaseous state.
If additional energy in the form of heat or strong electric fields is applied to a gas, the particles reach partial or full ionisation, i.e. the extraction of electrons from the atoms or molecules of the gas. The resulting particles are freely moving electrons and ionised atoms. This makes plasma an electrically conductive medium.
No two plasmas are alike
The composition and properties of a plasma depend on three essential factors:
- the type and composition of the gas or gas mixture used
- the energy used for the generation of the plasma
- the pressure conditions
The gas used in the kINPen® MED plasmajet is the noble gas argon. To generate the cold plasma, energy is applied to the argon gas as it is conducted past the high frequency electrode inside the plasma jet.
This ignites an effective cold plasma cocktail that exits the head of the plasma jet as an effluent with a temperature of < 39° Celsius, permitting an accurate application to the wound. The specific properties of the plasma provide a controlled atmosphere around the plasma beam – and thus a consistent high treatment quality.
Active component and operating principle: Medical application of a cold plasma
Fighting pathogens with physical procedures is not a new concept. In contrast to all the physical methods applied so far, cold plasma has a whole range of components that develop highly effective germicidal properties, may trigger biological wound healing processes and offer new application possibilities.
The effective physical components
- Reactive species
- Free radicals (generation of ions, electrons)
- Electromagnetic fields
- Low UV radiation
- Visible light
- Thermal radiation
The biological effect
- Inactivation of a wide range of pathogens and multi-resistant germs (e.g. MRSA)
- Stimulation of the microcirculation, improving the supply of the tissue with oxygen and nutrients
- Stimulation of tissue regeneration (generation of new cells) down into deep skin layers