The application of atmospheric pressure plasmas to human tissue has been shown to have therapeutic effects for wound healing and in treatment of skin diseases. These effects are attributed to production of UV photon fluxes, electric fields and beneficial radicals which intersect with biological reaction chains, and to energetic ions bombarding the surface. In this paper we report on results from a computational investigation of the ion energy and angular distributions (IEADs) in a dielectric-barrier discharge sustained in air incident directly on cell membranes for small dry and wet wounds in human skin. We found that ion energies in excess of 2030eV can be delivered onto cell membranes of dry wounds, and up to 60eV onto the liquid interface of the wet wound. The details of the IEADs depend on the orientation of the cell membrane and on the relative location of the plasma streamer to the wound. Using results from a molecular dynamics simulation of ion sputter probabilities of typical lipid-like material, we show that prolonged exposure of the cell membrane to such IEADs can produce significant carbon removal.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Acoustics and Ultrasonics
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films