Perspectives on Machine Learning-Assisted Plasma Medicine: Toward Automated Plasma Treatment

Angelo D. Bonzanini, Ketong Shao, Augusto Stancampiano, David B. Graves, Ali Mesbah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Cold atmospheric plasmas (CAPs) have shown great promise for medical applications through their synergistic chemical, electrical, and thermal effects, which can induce therapeutic outcomes. However, safe and reproducible plasma treatment of complex biological surfaces poses a major hurdle to the widespread adoption of CAPs for medical applications. Predictive modeling of the mutual interactions between the plasma and biological surfaces and, thus, systematic approaches to quantify and predict plasma treatment outcomes remain largely elusive due to the lack of mechanistic understanding of plasma-surface interactions that can span across vastly different length scales and timescales. In addition, real-time sensing capabilities in biomedical CAP devices are often limited, which can be detrimental to plasma treatment due to the intrinsic plasma and surface variability during the treatment, as well as sensitivity to external perturbations. All of these challenges can make reproducible and effective plasma treatment of biological surfaces difficult to realize, which is further compounded by errors due to the human operation of hand-held CAP devices. Machine learning and data-driven approaches can be particularly useful in addressing these challenges in three major ways: 1) data-driven modeling of hard-to-model plasma-surface interactions and plasma treatment outcomes; 2) learning data analytics for plasma and surface diagnostics in real time; and 3) developing predictive controllers that enable reliable and effective CAP treatments. This article discusses the promise of machine learning to accelerate plasma medicine research in these areas, toward machine learning-assisted and automated CAP treatment of complex biological surfaces.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16-32
Number of pages17
JournalIEEE Transactions on Radiation and Plasma Medical Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Instrumentation
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


  • Cold atmospheric plasma (CAP)
  • learning-based control
  • machine learning
  • plasma and surface diagnostics
  • plasma medicine
  • predictive modeling of plasma treatment outcomes


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