Scientists at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana say inducing biological tissue damage with an atmospheric pressure plasma source could open the door to cosmetics applications.
Under the supervision of the University's Associate Professor Sylwia Ptasinska, Xu Han and colleagues conducted a quantitative and qualitative study of the different types of DNA damage induced by atmospheric pressure plasma exposure.
Specifically, it is understanding the interaction of so-called atmospheric pressure plasma jets with biological tissues that could help various industries.
Although the paper is published in the European Physical Journal as part of a special issue on nanoscale insights into Ion Beam Cancer Therapy, the scientists hope the approach could ultimately lead to devising alternative tools for skin diseases, chronic wounds and cosmetics treatments too.
The leading supervisor Ptasinska told CosmeticsDesign-Europe.com that this type of plasma can work in beauty treatments in that it can easily remove numerous layers of skin during treatment and that there has already been some studies conducted on the skin for the removal of dark spots for example.
The 'agarose gel electrophoresis' method
The team set out to investigate the DNA damage from the so-called non-thermal Atmospheric Pressure Plasma Jet (APPJ), and adopted a common technique used in biochemistry, called agarose gel electrophoresis.
Under two conditions of the helium plasma source with different parameters of electric pulses, the scientists then studied the nature and level of DNA damage by plasma species, so-called reactive radicals.
They also identified the effect of water on DNA damage. To do so, they examined the role of reactive radicals involved in DNA damage processes occurring in an aqueous environment before comparing them to previous results obtained in dry DNA samples.
Xu Han and colleagues say the next step now will involve investigating plasma made from helium mixtures with different molecular ratios of other gases, such as oxygen, nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide and steam, under different plasma source conditions.
Full bibliographic information: X.Han, W. A. Cantrell, E. E. Escobar and S. Ptasinska (2014), Plasmid DNA damage induced by induced by Helium Atmospheric Pressure Plasma Jet, European Physical Journal D, DOI 10.1140/epjd/e2014-40753-y
For more information: www.epj.org.