A novel cupping-assisted plasma treatment for skin disinfection

Zilan Xiong, David B. Graves

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


A novel plasma treatment method/plasma source called cupping-assisted plasma treatment/source for skin disinfection is introduced. The idea combines ancient Chinese 'cupping' technology with plasma sources to generate active plasma inside an isolated, pressure-controlled chamber attached to the skin. Advantages of lower pressure include reducing the threshold voltage for plasma ignition and improving the spatial uniformity of the plasma treatment. In addition, with reduced pressure inside the cup, skin pore permeability might be increased and it improves attachment of the plasma device to the skin. Moreover, at a given pressure, plasma-generated active species are restricted inside the cup, raising local reactive species concentration and enhancing the measured surface disinfection rate. A surface micro-discharge (SMD) device is used as an example of a working plasma source. We report discharge characteristics and disinfection efficiency as a function of pressure and applied voltage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number05LT01
JournalJournal of Physics D: Applied Physics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 5 2017
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


  • Chinese cupping
  • low pressure
  • novel plasma source
  • skin disinfection


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