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K-State Today

March 20, 2019

Today: Sung-O Kim presents 'Plasma Endoscopy using Optical Fibers for Cancer Therapy'

Submitted by Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics

Sung-O Kim, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering in the Carl R. Ice College of Engineering, is the featured speaker for the Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics Seminar on Wednesday, March 20. He will present "Plasma Endoscopy using Optical Fibers for Cancer Therapy" at 4 p.m. in 120 Ackert Hall.

Cancer therapies based on plasmas that operate at atmospheric pressures have been developed and expose free radicals to tumor cells causing their subsequent apoptosis at a rapid pace.1-2 hollow-core optical fiber-based microplasma jets are reported to treat tumor cells and other bio-medical applications. It is observed that the microplasma not only induced apoptosis in cultured murine cells in a dose-dependent manner, but also, in some experimental conditions, selectively destroyed cultured tumor cells with no harm to cultured murine fibroblasts. The induction of apoptosis in cultured murine tumor cells is confirmed further using an in situ apoptosis assay, which also showed a well-defined boundary between plasma-treated and nontreated areas. This work enables new directed cancer therapies based on highly flexible and precise hollow optical fiber-based plasma medicine and offers a unique path to understanding plasma-induced tumor cell apoptosis.

Furthermore, a long and highly flexible micro-plasma jet device made of hollow-core optical fiber has been proposed for use in endoscopic treatment. The fiber which is used has an inner diameter of 350 μm and an outer diameter of 700 μm. The plasma jet device was 165 cm in length and merely 2 millimeters wide at the widest point. The system was configured so that thin wire electrodes were isolated inside of the optical fibers, thereby not allowing contact with the environment at the end of the device where the jet is produced. Such an electrode arrangement allows for great safety while also producing a stable plasma column and jet during treatment inside the patient's body. Despite the small inner diameter and the low gas flow rate, the generated plasma jets are shown to be stable and sufficiently effective at treating cells or germs. The exceptional flexibility and length of the micro-plasma device will enable it to reach diverse areas inside the human body. Plasma devices analogous to the one created have enormous potential for the treatment of a myriad of internal human ailments due to the devices' great flexibility and favorable chemical, medical and physical properties.

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