Greifswald researchers demonstrate the efficacy of combined treatment in plasma medicine
The Leibniz Institute for Plasma Science and Technology (INP) is one of the pioneers of plasma medicine. Over the past few months, a team of scientists has been investigating the additional effects of using pulsed electric fields – in combination with cold plasma.
At INP, Physicists, biochemists, biologists, physicians and pharmacists have been investigating the interactions of physical plasmas and cells under the roof. The plasmajet kINPen developed at the INP is successfully used in the treatment of chronically infected wounds and skin diseases. In addition, INP scientists are currently researching the effect of plasma on cancer cells. With the study entitled „Cell stimulation versus cell death induced by sequential treatments with pulsed electric fields and cold atmospheric pressure plasma“, a INP research team has now gained new important insights and published them in the current issue of PloS one.
Within the study, two technologies were combined for medical use: pulsed electric fields (PEF) and cold atmospheric pressure plasma (CAP). While PEFs can induce the formation of pores in cell membranes and consequently facilitate the uptake of molecules, CAP mainly acts through reactive species that are generated in the liquid environment. The INP research team has now investigated whether the combination of PEFs with plasma-treated cell culture medium enhances the viability of mammalian cells. In this process, experiments were performed with rat liver epithelial WBF344 cells and tumorigenic WB-ras for a direct comparison of non-tumorigenic and tumorigenic cells of the same origin. A first finding was that WB-ras cells responded more sensitive to the respective treatments than non-tumorigenic WBF344 cells, with viability strongly dependent on the cell type and applied field strength. In addition, the order of treatment plays an important role: more cells were killed when plasma-treated medium was applied first in combination with 100 μs PEF. The results suggest that other mechanisms, besides simple pore formation, contributed to the mutually reinforcing effects of both methods.
Dr. Anna Steuer
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A. Steuer, C.-M. Wolff, T. von Woedtke, K.-D. Weltmann, J.-F. Kolb (2018). Cell stimulation versus cell death induced by sequential treatments with pulsed electric fields and cold atmospheric pressure plasma. PloS one 13.10 (2018): e0204916.