Forschungs- & Entwicklungsinformationsdienst der Gemeinschaft - CORDIS

State-of-the-art on plasma technologies for health

Although plasma technologies have been in development for more than 20 years, the first industrial use for a medical device application did not occur until 1995. In summary, the medical plasma applications concerned the surface modifications of the medical devices and sterilization.

More recently, specific functionalities were foreseen to be introduced on medical devices surfaces.
- Surface modifications of the medical devices:

Plasma technologies and plasma actions:
- Cold plasma chemistry: change of chemical composition, etching, cleaning, surface activation, thin films deposition on polymers

- Cold plasma sputtering: Thin films deposition (PVD) on metals and ceramics (Physical)

- Hot plasma temperature: Fusion of powders

Specific biological properties developed :
- Osteoconductive coatings.

- Osteoinduction with bone growth enhancement.

- Deposition grafting of chemical functionalities with specific biological functions.

- Protein immobilisation on surfaces to induce desired cell responses.

- New functionalities.

- Antimicrobial adhesion and release.

- Antiadherent properties for proteins / macromolecules, cells tissues.

- Sterilization achieved by plasma:
Several plasma sterilizers are already on the market but plasma is not the active principle of sterilization. In fact, H202, peracetic acid or ETO are the active sterilizers. Several projects are ongoing, both internationally and at the CE level to investigate plasma action to sterilize/clean surfaces.

In this research plasma is acting due to the synergetic effect of active radicals (H, O) UV emission. Several mechanisms are integrated as sterilization mechanisms:
- Low pressure,
- Thermal effect,
- Direct destruction of DNA by UV radiation,
- Erosion by intrinsic photodesorption,
- Etching of microorganisms by a radical.

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