Plasma tool used to destroy cancer cells
To investigate the DNA damage from the so-called non-thermal Atmospheric Pressure Plasma Jet (APPJ), the team adopted a common technique used in biochemistry, called agarose gel electrophoresis. They studied the nature and level of DNA damage by plasma species, so-called reactive radicals, under two different conditions of the helium plasma source with different parameters of electric pulses.
They also identified the effect of water on DNA damage. To do so, they examined the role of reactive radicals involved in DNA damage processes occurring in an aqueous environment. They then compared them to previous results obtained in dry DNA samples.
The next step would involve investigating plasma made from helium mixtures with different molecular ratios of other gases, such as oxygen, nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide and steam, under different plasma source conditions. The addition of another gas is expected to increase the level of radical species, such as reactive oxygen species and reactive nitrogen species, known to produce severe DNA damage. These could, ultimately, help to destroy cancerous tumour cells.