The Effect of Tuning Cold Plasma Composition on Glioblastoma Cell Viability

Aug 18, 2014

Xiaoqian Cheng, Jonathan Sherman, William Murphy, Edward Ratovitski, Jerome Canady, MD, Michael Keidar
Recent development in physics research has lead to the production of cold atmospheric pressure plasma, a type of plasma that is formed at relatively “cold” temperatures, or room temperature. Previously, plasma was limited in application by its properties, including high voltage and high temperatures, but this most recent innovation has moved the focus to possible biological applications including food disinfection, wound healing, surgical procedures and even cancer treatment [1],[2]. The treatment of living tissues by cold plasma can be classified into two approaches: dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) and plasma jet. DBD is generated at a high voltage between two electrodes in the air, with at least one electrode being insulated in order to prevent current build-up, creating electrically safe plasma without substantial gas heating [3]. In the case of DBD, all the generated agents have direct contact with the treated sample. Plasma jets, on the other hand, also have high voltage between two electrodes, generate plasma inside of a quartz tube [4] and treat biological samples remotely. In this study, a helium plasma jet is employed because it produces a stable, homogenous and uniform discharge at atmospheric pressure, and it operates without a dielectric cover over the electrode, yet is free from filaments, streamers and arcing [5].

Cancer is a vast collection of diseases that share a common devastating similarity of unrestricted cell growth, however similarity in cell functions and metabolism between normal and tumor tissues creates serious obstacles in the specific ablation of tumor tissue, while leaving normal tissue intact and unharmed. To improve efficiency and safety of anti-cancer therapies the researchers and clinicians alike are prompted to develop targeted combined therapies that especially minimize damage to healthy tissues while eradicating the body of cancerous tissues.