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Development and Characterization of a Non-Thermal Plasma Source for Therapeutic Treatments

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An innovative non−thermal plasma (NTP) system intended to be applied as a medical device for therapeutic treatments is described. It is constituted by a radiofrequency generator directly coupled to a treatment probe that functions as a part of the capacitive load of a resonant electric circuit.

The NTP generated was analyzed using the optical emission spectroscopy technique, which provided us with essential data related to the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), reactive nitrogen species (RNS), and ultraviolet emission (UV). Simultaneously, its associated temperature profile, UVB and UVC emission, and electric characterization allowed us to determine a plasma safety profile and a spreading technique to be used on heat−sensitive matter without producing thermal damage to the materials or painful injuries to biological tissues.

Correctly generated, the NTP interacts with surrounding air particles producing reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (RONS), which exhibit bactericidal and antiseptic effects due to their strong biochemical reactivity. Besides, they function as critical mediators in animal physiology and promote wound healing processes. Afterward, the NTP source was validated through bacterial deactivation trials, selective inactivation of cancer cells instead of functional cells and enhancement of keratinocytes proliferation. Furthermore, by promoting and accelerating in vivo wound closure performed in mice, it demonstrated faster wound healing than that performed with conventional treatments. These properties make the NTP source a viable technology for therapeutic treatments.

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