Cold Plasma: What Is It and Why Use It?
Cold plasma, sometimes called non-thermal plasma, is one of the newest cutting edge medical concepts, but what is it? Plasma is not a thing. A table is a thing – it has substance and you can put your hands on it. Plasma is a fundamental state of matter, explains FusEDWeb. Along with liquids, solids and gases, it is one of four states of matter that exist in the universe.
Plasma is created by changing something else. For example, if you heat a certain type of gas, you excite the molecules until they produce light, as in neon light, or in a modified version, a plasma TV display. When you heat the gas, you create a plasma, something that acts like gas, but is able to conduct electricity. It’s the electricity applied to that gas that produces a plasma and, therefore, the plasma light.
How does all of this fit into a medical concept? Cold plasma applies that same basic theory to helium atoms, but at a lower level. This creates a beam that is cool, hence the term non-thermal plasma.
What is It Used For?
Cold plasma has many different uses in a medical environment. A study conducted by researchers at the Gamaleya Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology found that it can kill certain types of microbes, meaning it helps fight infection.
The study authors applied a non-thermal plasma torch to two forms of bacteria, including a common staphylococcus, and were able to kill 99 percent of the organisms growing in a Petri dish. This is exciting science as resistance to antibiotics is becoming more prevalent in the world arena.
What is J-Plasma?
J-Plasma is an FDA-approved medical device that utilizes non-thermal plasma for cutting and soft tissue coagulation. It has applications in:
- Plastic surgery
- Colorectal surgery
- Advanced laparoscopic surgery
- GI surgery
- Cardiothoracic surgery
By using the J-Plasma device, surgeons can cut and coagulate with just one device – the J-Plasma wand. Applying cold plasma energy during surgery means little damage to surrounding tissue, as well, leaving almost no eschar.
The tool uses minimal electricity in conjunction with helium gas flowing over a metal blade to produce a 2 mm plasma beam. The metal blade can be retracted or extended for use like any other scalpel. This creates an extremely flexible tool for incisions, even the most delicate dissections and coagulations.
Taking cold plasma into the operating room could potentially cut back on the amount of time patients spend on the table while reducing the tissue damage that results from traditional surgeries.
The precision of a laser, but without the heat is the advantage of the J-Plasma device. Add to that the other potential benefits of non-thermal plasma like infection control, it is clear why this revolutionary concept has people talking.