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The Fourth State of Matter, Plasma: A Technology to Improve Bone Healing?

(Thomas Jefferson University) Cold plasma looks like the glow from the "Star Wars" blue light saber but this beam of energy, made of electrons that change polarity at micro-second or nanosecond speeds, could help bones heal faster, according to a study…
"We've previously studied how different applications of cold plasma can either directly kill cells, such as in skin cancer, or help them grow, as in developing bones. In this study, we asked how cold plasma would affect the area surrounding cells, known as the extracellular matrix," says lead author Theresa Freeman, Ph.D…
"We showed that matrix treated with cold plasma generated using microsecond pulsing can promote differentiation of cells into cartilage and increase bone formation," says Dr. Freeman. "Conversely, we showed matrix treated with nanosecond-pulsed cold plasma inhibited cell differentiation and bone formation."
The study demonstrates that cold plasma may be "tuned" to either promote or inhibit cell/matrix interactions by chemically altering the matrix.
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