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A small, portable cold plasma device for the treatment of chronic and acute wounds.

Hard-to-heal wounds pose a challenge for clinicians and incur high healthcare costs. An innovative device capable of microbial disinfection promises to revolutionise treatment of acute wounds and skin conditions at home.

Cold atmospheric plasma (CAP) is a mix of electrons, ions, reactive species, UV radiation and heat that can kill bacteria, spores, fungi, viruses and biofilms. CAP has a physical mechanism of action, generating micropores in the cell membrane of microorganisms and destroying their DNA by oxidation. At the same time, eukaryotic cells are unaffected as DNA is protected by the nuclear membrane. The EU-funded plasmaCare feasibility study aimed to make CAP technology for wound disinfection accessible to the larger public through a portable home device.

An innovative anti-microbial technology

The terraplasma GmbH company has a portfolio of proprietary technologies based on the generation and application of CAP for clinical use, hygiene, water treatment and odour management. As the Managing Director of terraplasma GmbH, Dr Julia Zimmermann explains, “bacterial inactivation with CAP medical devices in acute and chronic wounds is very effective and serves as an alternative to topic antiseptics and antibiotics.″

The use of CAP for wound healing is well documented in patients suffering from infected chronic wounds and herpes zoster. Clinical data from a stationary device using terraplasma’s CAP technology indicate improved wound healing with no side effects or allergic reactions. Importantly, treatment is painless and fast, requiring only 1 minute to kill nearly 100 % of pathogens. Furthermore, the physical mode of action of CAP makes the technology suitable for drug-resistant pathogens, which are often contracted during the lengthy hospitalisation of patients.

To overcome the limitations of stationary devices the subsidiary company terraplasma Medical successfully developed a portable battery-operated and easy-to-use device tailored to the needs of doctors nurses and patients. The pre-clinical tests revealed that this plasma care® device was equally effective as the initial stationary device but more cost-effective user friendly and suitable for out-patient care. The device utilised a unique plasma source based on the surface micro-discharge technology developed by terraplasma GmbH that holds a patent for both the device and the technology.

Prospects of a home CAP device

“During the plasmaCare study, terraplasma GmbH set out to take the CAP technology a step further, adapting it for use in private households and thus by the end consumer,″ continues Dr Zimmermann. For this purpose, researchers have to overcome a number of technological challenges associated with producing a plasma source for a smaller device and making overall product development affordable to consumers.

The idea behind the plasma care® home device is to maintain certain ergonomic features of the plasma care® device such as the lack of electrical wires, the use of an indirect plasma source as well as the sterile single-use spacer that minimises the risk of cross-contamination. At the same time, the miniaturisation of the plasma care® home device has the potential to replace the traditional wound disinfection process practically anywhere.

Furthermore, terraplasma GmbH hope to extend the plasma care® home device against skin diseases such as acne, which usually involves lengthy and expensive treatments. Following market evaluation, Dr Zimmermann is confident that terraplasma GmbH has the potential to enter the acne treatment market with their hand-held plasma care® home device, offering an alternative solution for millions of sufferers of inflammatory skin conditions.

Reference source : A small, portable cold plasma device for the treatment of chronic and acute wounds.
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