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Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Fluids and plasma physics, Biophysics

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“Diagnostics of a Large Volume Pin-to-Plate Atmospheric Plasma Source for the Study of Plasma Species Interactions with Cancer Cell Cultures”, Laurence Scally, Sean Behan, Andressa Maria Aguiar de Carvalho, Chaitanya Sarangapani, Brijesh Tiwari, Renee Malone, Hugh J. Byrne, James Curtin, and Patrick J. Cullen, Plasma Processes and Polymers, e2000250 (2021)


A large gap pin-to-plate, atmospheric pressure plasma reactor is demonstrated as means of in vitro study of plasma species interactions with cell cultures. By employing optical emission and optical absorption spectroscopy, we report that the pin-to-pate plasma array had an optimal discharge frequency for cell death of 1000 Hz in ambient air for the target cancer cell line; human glioblastoma multiform (U-251MG). The detected plasma chemistry contained reactive oxygen and nitrogen species including OH, N2, N2+, and O3. We show that, by varying the plasma discharge frequency, the plasma chemistry can be tailored to contain up to 8.85 times higher levels of reactive oxygen species as well as a factor increase of up to 2.86 for levels of reactive nitrogen species. At higher frequencies, reactive oxygen species are more dominant than reactive nitrogen species which allows for a more dynamic and controlled environment for sample study without modifying the inducer gas conditions. When used for treatment of culture media and cell cultures, variation of the plasma discharge frequency over the range 1000-2500 Hz demonstrated a clear dependence of the responses with the highest cytotoxic responses observed for 1000 Hz. We propose that the reactor offers a means of studying plasma-cell interactions and possible co-factors such as pro-drugs and nano particles for a large volume of samples and conditions due to the use of well plates.