The effect of the plasma needle on the human keratinocytes related to the wound healing process

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In the present study we aim to verify the influence of a non-thermal atmospheric pressure plasma on the wound healing process. In this process the major contributors are the keratinocytes, which migrate to fill in the gap created by the wound. Therefore, we performed the direct treatment of HPV-immortalized human keratinocytes, protected by a layer of phosphate buffered saline (PBS) solution, with the glow discharge generated in flowing helium by a plasma needle. To mimick a wound, a 4 mm scratch was performed on the cell culture (scratch assay). We conducted two types of experiments: (i) cell proliferation and (ii) woundhealing model experiments. The plasma needle configuration, the plasma treatment conditions and the thickness of the protecting PBS layer were set based on viability experiments. The proliferation studies showed that short, 5-10 s, and low power treatments, such as 18 W and 20 W input power, could positively influence the cell proliferation when keratinocytes were protected by PBS. On the other hand, the plasma treatment of cell medium covered keratinocytes resulted in the decrease of proliferation. The wound-healing model (scratch assay) studies showed, that there was a maximum in the wound reduction as a function of the input power and treatment time, namely, at 18 W and 5 s. Furthermore, the wound reduction strongly depended on the treated cell-PBS interaction time. To mimic an infected wound, the scratch assay was covered with a 1×109 cfu ml-1 Propionibacterium acnes suspension. The plasma treatment of this infected assay resulted in closing of the scratch, while in the nontreated assay the wound did not close at all.

Original languageEnglish
Article number035401
JournalJournal of Physics D: Applied Physics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 22 2015



  • biomedical application
  • cell proliferation
  • non-thermal atmospheric plasma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films

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