Cold Plasma Therapy Can Help Treat Non-healing Wounds, Finds Study

Cold Plasma TherapyNon-healing, chronic wounds cause tremendous suffering and debilitation. A new study published by Russian scientists would serve as a relief to people experiencing this painful condition. A team of researchers from Russia’s Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT) found that treating cells with cold plasma leads to their regeneration and rejuvenation, and this led to the development of a plasma therapy program for patients with non-healing wounds. Hard-to-heal wounds can be the result of damage to blood vessels due to diabetes, failure of the immune system, or even slow cell division in elderly people.

How Cold Plasma Assists Wound Healing

Cold atmospheric-pressure plasma refers to a partially ionized gas with a temperature below 100,000 K. The study investigated whether the effect of plasma treatment could depend on the pattern of application, i.e. the total number of applications and the interval between the applications.

Two types of cells were used in this study – fibroblasts (connective tissue cells) and keratinocytes (epithelial cells), both of which played a significant role in wound healing. The scientists measured the effect of plasma treatment on these cells. Compared to the untreated controls the number of cells increased by 42.6% after one application (Group A), and by 32% after 2 applications (Group B) in fibroplast samples. The number of cells that had been treated daily for a period of 3 days (Group C) was reduced by 29% compared to the controls. Keratinocytes did not show any significant changes in their numbers. The plasma treatment did not show any visible signs of DNA breaks. A buildup of cells in the active phases of the cell cycle was observed, side by side with an extended growth phase of 30 hours. These observations show that the effect of plasma treatment is regenerative, not harmful.

It was also observed that plasma treatment significantly reduced the levels of β-galactosidase (measured at pH 6.0). The concentration of this enzyme increases with age, and plasma treatment reduced the content of this enzyme considerably in the samples. This along with the extended, vigorous growth phase of the culture signifies a functional activation of cells, namely, their renewal.

The team is also planning for additional research into the molecular mechanisms underlying the effects of plasma on cells, apart from the influence of a patient’s age on the efficacy of plasma therapy.

Efficient Documentation of Non-healing Wounds

Non-healing wound is a painful, chronic ailment that’s also a source of embarrassment, aggravation, and depression. It requires constant observation and effective management. Thorough assessment and timely, accurate documentation are crucial to manage these wounds.

The underlying reasons behind a wound’s slow healing process can be documented using advanced tools such as a Wound EMR. Assessment should include details such as the size, depth and location of the wound, foreign bodies in the wound, any signs of infection and the condition of the peri-wound tissues.