Plasma Medicine

PREVENTION AND PERSONALIZED TREATMENT OPTIONS

This field of competence addresses the research of the application of plasma medicine in the area of personalized treatment and therapeutic options, such as for the treatment of chronic infections (e.g., tuberculosis or infections with the multi-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)).

Plasma medicine is a research field at the interface between plasma physics and the life sciences. The use of plasma for medical applications is based on three pillars: the established areas of “decontamination” and “biological surfaces,” as well as the new area of “cold plasma.” The incorporation of these areas in the Leibniz Health Technologies research alliance is carried out on all levels – prevention, diagnostics, therapy, and aftercare.

The decontamination of surfaces serves to prevent infections in clinical practice. Plasmas can be used to clean thermally and chemically sensitive medical products (e.g., catheters and tissue-perforating ports) in situ or prior to use. The application of plasma on biological surfaces allows the manipulation of the redox balance. The plasma can be used on both biocompatible materials and directly on living tissue. With the new “cold plasmas,” these steps can also be carried out in an open atmosphere. Depending on how long treatment will last, which gases are used, and how much energy is applied in the plasmas, different medical effects can be achieved.