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New Nonthermal Atmospheric-Pressure Plasma Sources for Decontamination of Human Extremities

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6 Author(s)
Weltmann, K.-D. ; Leibniz Inst. for Plasma Sci. & Technol. Greifswald e.V. (INP Greifswald), Greifswald, Germany ; Fricke, K. ; Stieber, M. ; Brandenburg, R.
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The research and development of plasma sources, which can be used for therapeutic applications in the new and emerging field of plasma medicine, has gained more and more interest during recent years. These applications require cold nonthermal plasmas operating at atmospheric pressure. Due to the fact that, in general, plasma on or in the human body is a challenge both for medicine and plasma physics, basic research combining experimental physical and biological investigation and modeling is necessary to provide the required knowledge for therapeutic applications. It turned out that each application needs a special tailor-made plasma source, passing a minimum set of physical and biological tests before it can be considered for medical use. In addition to atmospheric-pressure plasma jets, dielectric barrier discharges offer great potential for a variety of medical indications. A new 2-D and even 3-D acting plasma source is introduced, exemplified for a possible decontamination of human extremities or similar tasks. In contradiction to most of today's existing plasma sources with fixed electrodes and nozzles, the prototype uses flexible electrodes to automatically adapt the plasma under equal and stable conditions to nearly all surface structures. First, physical and biological investigations demonstrate the general potential for therapeutic applications on preferably intact skin surfaces.

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Plasma Science, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:40 ,  Issue: 11 )