VIP: Effects of Cold Atmospheric Plasma on Expression of Matrix Genes by Fibroblasts in 3D Cultures

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Student Presentation

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Ken Cornell, Julia Oxford, Don Plumlee, Jim Browning


Diabetic patients suffer from poor circulation and neuropathy, which can lead to chronic non-healing wounds. Many different therapies have been explored for clinical treatment of these wounds with varying degrees of success. We propose a new method for treating these wounds using a cold-atmospheric pressure (CAP) plasma device that combines Alternating Current (AC) with Direct Current (DC). The device uses a hybrid of AC and DC current between two sheets of low temperature co-fired ceramics (LTCC) to generate plasmas. Electrical current generated between the LTCC plates react with atmospheric gases to produce various reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (RONs), such as oxygen radicals (O22-), ozone (O3), and nitric oxide (NO). NO can enter the wound site and stimulate healing by initiating inflammation and causing vasodilation. Our research is focused on measuring the effects that CAP plasmas containing NO have on a three dimensional mouse fibroblast culture in collagen gel that models the processes that occur in healing wound tissues. The effects of CAP treatment on these cells are monitored by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to examine the expression of genes involved in wound healing. The concentrations of nitrite ions in the gels are also analyzed by UV-Vis spectrophotometric determination and Griess assays to confirm their delivery to the fibroblast culture. From our analysis, we will be able to determine if certain enzymes and cytokines associated with the wound healing process are elevated after NO exposure. The results of this work will provide preliminary proof-of-concept to further develop a CAP plasma device to treat chronic non-healing wounds.

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