Cold atmospheric plasmas (CAPs) are investigated for several medical applications; major research effort is devoted to the promotion of wound healing in of chronic wounds. These wounds, typically associated with diabetes, are a major health concern due to their high occurrence in the population, long healing time, and associated high costs. Cell culture studies and clinical trials show promising results towards wound reduction or closure using relatively short plasma treatment times between 45 s and 2 min. Another growing application of CAPs is the inactivation of cancer cells. While short treatment times associated with wound healing seem to induce no permanent damage, cancer treatments are performed at significantly higher plasma exposure times.
Due to the complex nature of both wound healing and cancer, investigating the effect of plasma is challenging. One system that seems highly interesting in both wound healing and cancer is the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and one of its ligands, the epidermal growth factor (EGF). EGFR is known to be involved in several cancer types, because an overproduction or overstimulation of EGFR has a severe impact on the cell cycle by inducing proliferation … read more