Research Paper

A Portable Atmospheric Air Plasma Device for Biomedical Treatment Applications

[+] Author and Article Information
Magesh Thiyagarajan

Plasma Engineering Research Lab (PERL),
College of Science and Engineering,
Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi,
6300 Ocean Drive, Unit 5797, EN 222D,
Corpus Christi, TX 78412
e-mail: magesh@tamucc.edu

Manuscript received February 26, 2012; final manuscript received January 3, 2013; published online February 13, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Keefe B. Manning.

J. Med. Devices 7(1), 011007 (Feb 13, 2013) (7 pages) Paper No: MED-12-1029; doi: 10.1115/1.4023498 History: Received February 26, 2012; Revised January 03, 2013

A portable atmospheric pressure resistive barrier plasma (RBP) device is designed, constructed, and characterized for plasma surface treatment procedures applied in biomedical applications. The design and construction aspects of the RBP plasma device are presented including the electrode configuration, electrical, cooling, and gas flow rates. The RBP device can operate in both dc (battery) as well as in standard 60/50 Hz low frequency ac power input. The RBP device can function effectively in both direct and indirect plasma exposure configurations depending on the type of treatment targets. The portable RBP device is characterized for plasma jet exit velocity, plasma temperatures, and reactive nitrogen species (RNS) using laser shadowgraphy, emission spectroscopy, and gas analyzer diagnostics. We have measured the average velocity of the plasma jet to be 150–200 m/s at 1 cm from the probe end. The gas temperature which is equivalent to the rotational (Trot) temperatures of the plasma is measured by simulation fitting the experimental emission spectra. A high-temperature ceramic fiber-insulated-wire thermocouple probe is used to measure the temperatures of the downstream jet after 2 cm where the plasma emission drops. Addition of external cooling unit brought the temperatures of reactive species and other gases close to room temperature. The spatial concentrations of the reactive oxygen species from the plasma jet tip are measured at 5 cm distance from the electrode. The nitric oxide level is measured to be in the range of 500–660 ppm and it drops to ∼100 ppm at 60 cm. The ppm values of nitric oxides after the cooling unit are observed to be at the same order of magnitude as the plasma jet. The preliminary results on the effectiveness of the portable RBP device for bacterial inactivation as well as the effects of indirect exposure of the portable RBP device on monocytic leukemia cancer cells (THP-1) are briefly presented.

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Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Laser shadowgram of the plasma jet. Image size-1.5 × 2 cm.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Photograph of the portable RBP jet

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Experimental and SPECAIR code simulated matching of emission spectra of RBP jet at different axial distances from the exit. (a) 0.2 cm – 3000 ± 150 °C, (b) 0.8 cm – 2000 ± 150 °C, (c) 1.5 cm – 1500 ± 150 °C, (d) 2 cm – 1000 ± 150 °C.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

The axial temperature decay of the plasma jet from the RBP device tip without the cooling unit

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

The NOx concentrations of the plasma jet from the RBP device in ppm with and without the cooling unit at various axial distances from the exit

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

(a) Schematic block diagram of the portable resistive barrier plasma device and its diagnostics—laser shadowgraphy, optical emission spectroscopy, and gas analyzer measurements, used to characterize the RBP device. (ND—neutral density filter, BE—beam expander, M—mirror, F—filter, TFR—transformer, ROS—reactive oxygen species). (b) Schematic of the handheld RBP probe unit.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

The concentrations of NO and NO2 for the RBP jet without the external cooling unit

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 8

The concentrations of NO and NO2 from the RBP probe with external cooling unit



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