Skip to comments.Drexel opens new institute to study plasma
Posted on 08/07/2008 6:01:28 AM PDT by Red Badger
Professor Gary Friedman (left) and Alex Fridman, director of the Drexel Plasma Institute, demonstrate a plasma generator being tested for use in medicine.
A few years ago, a researcher at Drexel University accidentally cut his finger and exposed it to plasma, a fourth state of matter created by ionizing gas.
To everyones surprise, the blood from the cut coagulated.
We said, OK, this is very interesting, maybe we can help somebody with this, said Gary Friedman, a professor of electrical and computer engineering and a professor of surgery at Drexel, who was working with the researcher at the time.
It proved interesting to Plasma Technologies Inc. The Corpus Christi, Texas-based company recently licensed plasma technology developed at Drexel to use in a medical device that its president, Bert Quintanilla, thinks it can bring to market overseas within a year.
The technology is incredible because it coagulates blood within 15 seconds of applying the technology to the human body and it does that with no burns, with no cauterization to the wound, Quintanilla said.
Drexel is working to develop other plasma technologies, too.
The university last year approved a research initiative in plasma medicine and biology and recently established the A.J. Drexel Plasma Institute, which joins the A.J. Drexel Nanotechnology Institute as a focal point for interdisciplinary research at Drexel.
The initiative involves a commitment by Drexel to add faculty and research associates who can investigate medicinal and biological applications for plasma. Among other things, it resulted in Drexel hosting the First International Conference on Plasma Medicine in Corpus Christi last year.
The institute will also investigate other possible applications of plasma technology, such as fuel and energy conversion, environmental control, plasma-assisted combustion and flight control.
Although it has unusual properties, plasma is common. Stars consist of plasma, as do lightning and static electricity.
Anytime you walk on a carpet in dry air, you will often then bring your body to some other sharp point and you will feel this unpleasant discharge thats plasma, Friedman said.
Although the plasma in lightning and stars is hot, plasma can also be cold, as is the case with the plasma in TV and fluorescent lamps. Research into cold plasma, also called nonthermal plasma, is the institutes specialty.
Plasma is already used for many applications, including semiconductor manufacturing and coloring synthetic fibers.
Almost all synthetic clothing, before its painted, its put through plasma, so that the paint can actually stick to the synthetic material, Friedman said.
In addition to medical applications, researchers associated with the plasma institute are looking into using it to help extract hydrogen out of fuels so that the hydrogen can be used in fuel cells used in cars.
The advantage is you dont need to store hydrogen somewhere in the car, Friedman said.
The research that led to the technology that Plasma Technologies is licensing was jump-started by a grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, which also wanted Drexel to look into using plasma to disinfect wounds.
Thats important to the military because the improvised explosive devices used against soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan are usually very dirty, so even a small wound can trigger fatal infections.
Its also important to hospitals because disinfectants such as alcohol and iodine cant be poured into open wounds because doing so would kill too much living tissue.
Drexel has also gotten funding from the Miami-based Walter H. Coulter Foundation to help commercialize its technology.
Friedman said he and his fellow researchers have found they can tune plasma to kill bacteria but not harm the tissue around the bacteria.
It kills bacteria within five seconds of exposure, but living tissue is absolutely fine, he said.
So far, Friedman said, Drexel researchers have tested using plasma on bacteria in pigs and mice.
We are hoping that we will move to human trials soon, but we still need to generate a little more animal data to be sure that this is working well, he said.
Drexel also has obtained funding from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, which wants to make sure that if astronauts ever set foot on another planet, it has the technology to kill any bacteria they might inadvertently bring back to Earth.
The university also has gotten funding for using plasma to kill bacteria from the Department of Transportation and from the Food and Drug Administration, which wants to know if plasma can kill bacteria on food without harming the food.
The results look promising. Drexel researchers have shown they can generate plasma inside a sealed envelope that can kill plasma spores in the envelope.
They also have found that plasma can be used to kill E. coli and the bacteria that cause staph infections. It even can be used to kill a type of bacteria that is so hardy that it survives in radioactive areas of nuclear power plants.
We show that with our plasma technology, we can deactivate this bacteria within 10 seconds of exposure, Friedman said.
You may choose to not believe me on this, but, as I was slicing that [bleep] open, by the time I had reached the bottom of the tumor, the starting point would have healed--without any scar.
Well, there ya go FReeper, you will find that program interesting, all right?
So the plasma affected the plasma?
This device could be a life saver for EMT and military medics/corpsmen to use. Imagine instantly clotting serious wounds so blood losses would be stopped until the patient/soldier could get to a hospital...............
This could be interesting for diabetes ping lists............Is there a general medical/health ping list?.............
“Drexel researchers have shown they can generate plasma inside a sealed envelope that can kill plasma spores in the envelope.”
Plasma spores?? Must be from some space critter.
Just a couple of quick thinking things....
the sharp discharge you get walking across the carpet and touching the door knob is static electricity.. and yes, the air DOES ionize around it (otherwise the discharge could not happen).
Also, something most people do not know.
When lightning strikes and the air ionizes large quantities of O3, also known as ozone is created. Some of you might know this, but many higher quality hot tubs use an ozone generator to kill bacteria.
It’s the ozone that does this, not the “plasma”.
Methinks they are looking in the wrong place.
“It’s the ozone that does this, not the plasma. Methinks they are looking in the wrong place.”
Youthinks - not quite right.
These guys definitely know the difference between the cold plasma they generate and O3 generation.
Cold Plasmas can be tuned via frequency and power levels to produce little or no ozone.
The effects they are working on can be controlled so that ozone is eliminated.
Plus ozone oxidized the crap out of tissue and plasma.
Two different critters cold plasma and ozone.
We've already got that:
Link to more information. I've used the stuff. It's amazing. There are already confirmed instances of this stuff being used by the USMC in the field.
One Marine was saved after his jugular was severed by a bullet. It's also proven to work on arterial bleeds.
Cost: About 10 bucks.
I highly recommend you add it to your family first aid kit. You do have a family first aid kit, right?
No expert, but the crap that came out of my nose wasn’t blood or pus and would squirt easily to the ceiling. Maybe that crud was some kind of plasma.
Well.. no I don’t think I am wrong here.
See... the point here is that when blood was exposed it coagulated.
I guess you missed that part.
I’m certain the guy doing this wasn’t that aware of what happens in blood, how it coagulates or why electrical signals or current might cause it.
Ozone indeed can cause tissue damage. I wasn’t saying that this was the only thing.
No, I’m not thinking wrongly here. :)
Check that out.
(By the way, I DO know the difference in ozone and plasma, and I know the difference is “cold” and “hot” plasma :))
I’d like to point out that this “ain’t new”....
Check the DATES...
Force Fields and ‘Plasma’ Shields Get Closer to Reality
By James Schultz
Special to SPACE.com
posted: 07:00 am ET
25 July 2000
Space-borne protective energy systems, like the deflector shields on the fictional starship U.S.S. Voyager, are on the drawing board of real-world scientists.
These “cold plasmas” — analogs to the sophisticated defensive grids envisioned by Star Trek’s creators — are ambient-temperature, ionized gases related to those found deep within the suns core.
Such plasmas are capable of shielding satellites and other spacecraft, making them invisible to radars, or both. Nor will they fry electronics or melt metal.
The title of which is: “Blood Coagulation Unaffected by Ozonated Autohemotherapy in Patients on Maintenance Hemodialysis”
Plus ozone has been in active use around the world for years - yet no citations for it being used to coagulate blood - quite the contrary the literature says otherwise.
Plus theirs is a Plasma lab not an ozone lab - hence the interest in the fact that the plasma is doing the coagulating.
Plus in the article you site - it states that it's the plasma that does the sterilizing nothing about ozone.
Have to finish a project, bye for now.
I never SAID it was necessarily ozone. I said I don’t think they are looking at EVERYTHING. Ozone was an example.
This theory is just that, theory. There has been a lot of discussion of plasma for a LONG time, and the guy who is alleged to have ‘discovered’ this wasn’t the first to find it. Studies of cold plasma have been on-going for a very long time.
I don’t believe that there is anything to the theory that cold plasma causes blood to coagulate (ANY MORE than I BELIEVE ozone does it).
I’m merely stating that they aren’t looking in the right place.
I find it pretty funny that whenever I say something, there’s always one person in the thread that seems to take something out of context and hammer on it in an effort (it seems to me) to detract from the actual conversation. hahaha
Take care and enjoy that “other project”.
From the PDF at Z-Medica's FAQ.
I'd gotten a severe cut on my leg as a kid, and my Dad grabbed a small pane of glass and pressed it onto the cut, holding it there for about ten minutes or so; it stopped the bleeding better than a bandage would, and healed without any now-noticeable scar.
Looks like that QuikClot® should be in everyone's First Aid Kit; it will be added to mine; thanks.
You're quite welcome. They also make some handy bandages treated with the stuff. One is a 'plain' and the other is an anti-bacterial variant.
I've got a couple of each plus a packet of the powder in my first aid kit. The powder version comes in a handy trauma pack. It's about halfway down the page.
I figure it's pretty cheap insurance.
FReepmail me if you want on or off the diabetes ping list.
Is there a general medical/health ping list?.............
I have a health & science list too. It's mostly health & medicine, but I'm fond of the physical sciences too. (I'm posting that next.) They get all of the former that I find plus links like your's that I'm pinged to and the most noteworthy articles about politics, foreign and military affairs similarly found. I try to keep the latter to once daily. It's rarely more than once daily. Sometimes they get a complete rest. Health & science is usually at least a few threads once daily.
Cool. Thanks for the ping!
Gary Friedman and Alex Fridman. Thanks neverdem.