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Pure Appl. Chem., 2010, Vol. 82, No. 6, pp. 1223-1237

Published online 2010-04-20

Atmospheric-pressure plasma sources: Prospective tools for plasma medicine

Klaus Dieter Weltmann, Eckhard Kindel, Thomas von Woedtke, Marcel Hähnel, Manfred Stieber and Ronny Brandenburg

Leibniz Institute for Plasma Science and Technology e.V. (INP Greifswald), Felix-Hausdorff-Str. 2, D-17489 Greifswald, Germany

Abstract: Plasma-based treatment of chronic wounds or skin diseases as well as tissue engineering or tumor treatment is an extremely promising field. First practical studies are promising, and plasma medicine as an independent medical field is emerging worldwide. While during the last years the basics of sterilizing effects of plasmas were well studied, concepts of tailor-made plasma sources which meet the technical requirements of medical instrumentation are still less developed. Indeed, studies on the verification of selective antiseptic effects of plasmas are required, but the development of advanced plasma sources for biomedical applications and a profound knowledge of their physics, chemistry, and parameters must be contributed by physical research. Considering atmospheric-pressure plasma sources, the determination of discharge development and plasma parameters is a great challenge, due to the high complexity and limited diagnostic approaches. This contribution gives an overview on plasma sources for therapeutic applications in plasma medicine. Selected specific plasma sources that are used for the investigation of various biological effects are presented and discussed. Furthermore, the needs, prospects, and approaches for its characterization from the fundamental plasma physical point of view will be discussed.