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From plasma-created nanoparticles to plasma-driven ultraviolet lights, plasma-based technology is on its way to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
November 9, 2020
VIRTUAL MEETING (CST) -- Plasmas are ionized gases that contain many active components, including charged electrons and ions, ultraviolet (UV) radiation, and reactive gas species. These components make plasmas highly effective in killing microbial pathogens such as the virus causing the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Igor Kaganovich of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory and Prof. Michael Keidar of The George Washington University will present the latest results in developing plasma-based applications to ameliorate COVID-19 at two mini-conference sessions during the virtual 62nd Annual Meeting of the APS Division of Plasma Physics.
These plasma-based applications can be safe and highly effective. While some plasmas exist in extremely high temperature and pressure environments, laboratory scientists can produce “cold” plasmas at atmospheric pressure—with only electrons at elevated temperature, and heavier particles at room temperature. In addition, just a few of the millions of atoms in cold plasmas are ionized, making cold atmospheric plasma safe for use on and near humans, which is leading to the rapid growth of plasma-based applications in biomedicine. Moreover, since atmospheric cold plasmas do not require a liquid agent as traditional disinfectants do, they do not cause corrosion of materials and do not create toxic chemicals.
Some uses for cold atmospheric plasma to be discussed at the mini-conference include:
A key advantage of plasma-based therapies is their adaptive nature. Such therapies are easily varied based on input parameters—electrical input, voltage, current, and type of gas—unlike the fixed chemical composition of most drugs and disinfectants. This capability can allow scientists to monitor the efficacy of plasma-based treatments and almost instantaneously adjust the plasma composition based on that feedback. Scientists are developing rapid detection techniques to realize this feature. All these benefits suggest that cold atmospheric plasmas are a powerful tool in fighting the global pandemic.
TM13 Mini-Conference on Plasma Applications to Ameliorate Covid-19 I
9:30 a.m. - 12:20 p.m. CST, Thursday, November 12, 2020
VM09 Mini-Conference on Plasma Applications to Ameliorate Covid-19 II
2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. CST, Thursday, November 12, 2020
Figure 1. An example of a plasma jet wand that can be used for disinfection. Credit: Joseph Xu, University of Michigan.
Figure 2. A “plasma brush” for cleaning protective gear. Credit: Li Lin.
APS Press Office
Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory
George Washington University