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New Approaches to Plasma Therapy may Improve Medical Implant Outcomes

New Approaches to Plasma Therapy may Improve Medical Implant Outcomes


Monday, 14 March, 2022

Professor Paula Bourke

Professor Paula Bourke of the UCD School of Biosystems & Food Engineering, Photo by Ste Murray

The race is on to find new and effective ways of treating antimicrobial resistant pathogens, which represent a major threat to the health of patients undergoing surgery for medical implants. Bacterial infection is one of the most common problems associated with such surgery, compounded by the absence of new antibiotics to take up the battle. But a tripartite team involving researchers at UCD and QUB and at Jefferson University in Philadelphia are pioneering new approaches.

Plasma is the fourth state of matter (the others are solid, liquid and gas. The researchers are using a combination of the direct application of cold plasma and plasma functionalised liquids. Liquids such as water or saline, can be exposed to a plasma in order to generate particular chemical characteristics, and are under investigation for a range of applications including infection control and cancer therapy. Although still in its early days, if the research is successful it could revolutionise outcomes, vastly improving the quality of life for hundreds of thousands of people each year and providing a new tool in the ongoing battle against antibiotic resistant microorganisms.

“The use of plasma is quite promising because it does not rely on one particular mechanism of action. So understanding how to best use the different disruptive mechanisms is what we hope to achieve.”

You can read the full case study here: New Approaches to Plasma Therapy may Improve Medical Implant Outcomes

Contact UCD School of Biosystems and Food Engineering

Room 303. Agriculture & Food Science Centre, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
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