The device leverages the properties of plasma, the least familiar state of matter to humans, which is normally found in high-energy environments such as stars. Plasma can also be artificially generated at lower temperatures by applying electrical currents to a gas or liquid insulator.
The “cold plasma” patches developed by Coldplasmatech are made of silicone, and use the ions and UV radiation emitted by the material to treat infections in chronic wounds while simultaneously accelerating the healing process.
“This ionized gas is bioactive so it leads to, on one hand, killing of bacteria, and on the other hand, activating cells by putting them under stress,” Carsten Mahrenholz, founder and CEO of Coldplasmatech, told me over Skype. That leads to “the secretion of [cytokine] messengers, cell proliferation, cell migration, and so on,” he added.
The bacterial infections that can develop on chronic wounds—bed sores, burns, or diabetes-related skin damage, for instance—are normally treated with antibiotics. Scientists have long warned that these methods breed superbugs that have become resistant to traditional drugs. Using cold plasma patches skirts this problem, but the downside is that the patches can only be used for external infections.
Once the infection has spread internally, he said, antibiotics would be needed to fight it. But for the tens of millions of people worldwide who suffer from skin-deep chronic wounds, cold plasma could be a safer and more comfortable option. Unlike antibiotics, which are sometimes administered over a period of weeks, the patch kills infections in minutes. Cold plasma also doesn’t produce the same annoying side effects that antibiotics do, like allergic reactions, vomiting, or diarrhea.
According to motherboard