Two prototype devices have been developed: one for efficient disinfection of healthy skin in hospitals and public spaces where bacteria can pose a lethal threat; and another to shoot bacteria-killing agents into infested chronic wounds and enable a quicker healing process.
One research group from the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics has built and trialed a device which is capable of disinfecting human skin quickly within seconds, annihilating drug-resistant kinds of bacteria. The researchers write: "The surgeons' disinfection procedure – hand rubbing (three minutes) or hand scrubbing (five minutes) – has to be repeated many times a day, with a number of negative side-effects arising from the mechanical irritation, chemical and, possibly, allergic stress for the skin. For the hospital staff, the issue of hand disinfection is equally daunting. Over a typical working day, some 60 to 100 disinfections are necessary – each requiring three minutes." The new plasma devices under development cut this down. In addition, only electricity is needed, no fluids or containers.
Another device was developed specifically for disinfecting chronic non-healing wounds. One advantage of the device comes from regulating densities of biologically-active agents which are designed to ensure that the plasma is deadly for bacteria but harmless for human cells. Cell biological studies are reported and interpreted in terms of chemical reactions which work differently in bacterial and human cells – deadly to the bacteria and supporting cell regeneration in human cells. After successful trials that show how plasma can be manipulated to beneficial ends, these researchers write, "One can treat plasmas like a medical cocktail, which contains new and established agents that can be applied at the molecular level to cells in prescribed intensities and overall doses."
COMPAMED.de; Source: Institute of Physics