Plasma against infectious agents

Next generation non-thermal plasma technology demonstrates effectiveness in the fight against tough infectious agents

ChiScan has developed a novel device to create non-thermal plasma (NTP). CEO Huan Truong stated: ‘Although there are currently a number of technologies capable of generating cold plasma, our proprietary cold plasma generating technology is novel because of its size, portability, no requirement for any noble gas, precision, robustness and ease of application.’

ChiScan technology could be useful as a countermeasure for multidrug-resistant and hard-to-treat infectious agents in both clinical and field settings. This next generation cold plasma technology is the result of more than 10 years of research and development.

ChiScan has been designing bio-energy based therapeutic and diagnostic technologies with a focus on infectious diseases. Thanks to low-cost modern electronics, it is feasible to employ this technology in both the field and medical treatment centres. For more than 20 years, non-thermal atmospheric pressure or ‘cold’ plasma has been investigated for biomedical applications in the US and around the world. Dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) is a practical method of generating cold plasma from air at ambient temperature.

According to Bryon Eckert and Brad Eckert, the two inventors and co-founders of ChiScan, the generated NTP has significant utility in solving current and future healthcare-related problems in a cost-effective and non-invasive manner. ‘Our portable plasma driver provides power level control and an automatic tuning mechanism to drive a large range of array sizes and shapes. Our device would be ideal for in-the-field use and where resources are limited regions,’ said Huan Truong.

The novel cold plasma array is a sheet of low current corona discharges formed in the shape of an array. The array is formed from flexible and sizeable PCB (printed circuit board) material and is waterproof (it’s enclosed in a sleeve of expanded PTFE, which functions as ventilation). The array is attached to a portable driver through a length of coaxial cable.

An extruded aluminium case provides a large battery capacity and efficient thermal management, allowing repeated therapy sessions at high power (large arrays) without frequent recharging. It recharges a built-in battery and uses various power conversion circuits to supply AC and DC at the appropriate voltage and current levels as indicated by the load of an ID pin. The ID pin is a one-wire interface used for the identification of accessories. A colour LCD display shows all driver parameters.