The term plasma medicine was first used only two decades ago but research in this field has grown tremendously in recent years. Great advances have been made in the knowledge of the mechanisms involved in the interaction between cold atmospheric plasma and living cells and tissues. Numerous research groups across the globe, especially in the United States and Asia, are trying to gain a deeper understanding of these mechanisms. Results of numerous experiments in-vitro, ex-vivo and in-vivo have been published showing the excellent properties of this treatment and the arrival of this technology to our reference hospitals is getting closer.
Efforts in this field multiplied recently and knowledge of plasma treatment applications has greatly grown. In 2008 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of cold atmospheric plasma in dermatological applications and in 2010 the first clinical trial for wound treatment was carried out, resulting in the approval of the treatment in 2013. More recently, in mid-2019, the FDA has approved the first clinical study for cold atmospheric plasma cancer treatment in the United States.
Cold atmospheric plasma treatment has been shown to accelerate healing without causing necrosis, reduce the bacterial load in wounds (including those colonized by antibiotic-resistant bacteria), and promote angiogenesis. The use of plasma in diabetic ulcers is especially convenient since these, on many occasions, remain open for long periods of time. Recent studies published in the prestigious journal Nature show the excellent results obtained in experiments carried out on murine models in this type of wound.
The main mechanism of action underlying the therapeutic effect of cold atmospheric air plasmas is the effect of the electric fields produced by the charged particles that make up the plasma. These fields are imperceptible by the patient; however, the effect on the microcirculation in the application area of the wound is very noticeable. The improvement in microcirculation lasts longer than the treatment period, as shown by reported oxygen saturation studies using DBD (Dielectric Barrier Discharge) cold air plasmas, including clinical trials. Improved capillary blood flow increases local oxygen saturation and nutrient supply, thus promoting wound healing.
ION BIOTEC maintains an active collaboration with the Clínica Universidad de Navarra, a pioneer in the development of clinical trials and in the implementation of cutting-edge technology, which has a PlasmAction device.