The feasibility and effectiveness of an air plasma torch (APT) for medical applications are studied. The research effort includes (1) generation of an air plasma torch and its characterizations, (2) blood clotting experiments in vitro and analysis, (3) in vivo experiments using pigs as animal models, and (4) Post-operative observation of wound healing.
The emission spectroscopy of the plasma torch (S. P. Kuo, US patent No.: US7777151) shows that the plasma effluent of the torch carries an abundance of reactive atomic oxygen (RAO), which is the catalyst for plasma medical effects. The electron excitation temperature is also determined via the emission spectrum. Together with the thermal temperature measurement, the torch is shown in a non-equilibrium state at low thermal temperature (< 75 °C). The V-I characteristic indicates that the plasma is generated by an arc discharge and then maintained by a glow discharge in each cycle of 60 Hz periodic discharges.
Both continuous and intermittent plasma treatment approaches are applied in the in vitro and in vivo experiments. In the in vitro experiments, the test samples are anti-coagulated blood droplets and smeared drops (10μ each). The results have demonstrated that this plasma torch clots blood rapidly via a non-thermal mechanism. The dependencies of the degree of clotting on the exposure time and distance have been recorded.
Microscopy and cell count of smeared blood samples explore the dependencies of erythrocyte and platelet counts on the exposure time and distance. With a decrease of the exposure distance or increase of the exposure time, i.e., increase the amount of RAO in the treatment, the degree of blood clotting increases and the platelet count decreases. RAO activating erythrocyte-platelets interactions is likely responsible for stimulating blood clotting.
Using pigs as animal models, plasma torch on bleeding control are investigated. For the three types of wounds: (i) straight cut, (ii) cross cut, and (iii) a hole in the saphenous vein of an ear, introduced to the pigs. The results of continuous exposure approach show that APT has shortened the respective bleeding time from about 3 min to 18 sec, about 4 min to 13 sec, and 88 sec to 15 sec. The intermittent exposure approach is found more effective than the continuous exposure approach on the bleeding control.
Finally, the post-operative observations on wound healing have been conducted. The results show that the plasma treatment has accelerated the wound healing. The healing period of plasma treated cross cut wound is reduced from about 14 days to 8 days. Again, RAO is a key factor. As RAO reacts with H2 O in the blood, it produces H2O2; part of H 2O2 is decomposed to oxygen, which dissolves into tissue to increase the oxygen tension. H2O2 also triggers Fibroblast Growth Factor, Platelet-Derived Growth Factor and other factors to induce reactions such as inflammation and angiogenesis. As a result, the healing process is improved and the healing time is reduced.
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|Commitee:||Bertoni, Henry, Cowman, Mary|
|School:||Polytechnic Institute of New York University|
|Department:||Electrical and Computer Engineering|
|School Location:||United States -- New York|
|Source:||DAI-B 72/08, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Biochemistry, Biomedical engineering, Electrical engineering|
|Keywords:||Bleeding control, Blood, Clot, Healing, Plasma, Wound|
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