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Plasma Flashlight Kills Bacteria

Kreij

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#1
The full article is here at sciencemag.org

A group led by engineer Xinpei Lu at the Huazhong University of Science and Technology in China believes it has a device with none of these drawbacks [ed. see full article for previous drawbacks]. Powered by a normal 12-volt battery and operating in open air without a gas supply, the prototype, which they call a plasma flashlight, should be portable enough to take anywhere. "It generates the plasma even being disconnected from wall power, even using very low power," says group member Kostya Ostrikov of CSIRO Materials Science and Engineering in Lindfield, Australia.

The flashlight's battery is far too small to create a plasma on its own, so the researchers use a common electronic device known as a DC booster to step up the voltage to 10 kilovolts. One output of the booster is wired to the device's shell—or "grounded," in technical speak—while the other goes to an array of 12 fine, stainless steel needles that create a rapidly pulsing electrical discharge. The circuit has several "ballast" resistors that limit the discharge's current so that the flashlight is safe to touch.

To test the device, Lu's group grew thick films of Enterococcus faecalis, bacteria that are well-known to infect root canals in the mouth and are highly resistant to both heat and antibiotics. The researchers used some of the so-called biofilms as control samples and subjected the others to the plasma flashlight for 5 minutes at a distance of 5 millimeters. Afterward, they marked all the samples with two fluorescent solutions: a green one that flagged living cells, and a red one that flagged dead cells.

The team found that the control samples stayed green, while the treated samples had turned almost completely red—even at the bottom of the biofilms, which were about 17 cells deep. The results, which are published online today in the Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, were even better than a nonportable plasma device that Lu's group had tested previously.
The above article is a bit generic about how this technique actually works, so here is a link to an applied physics letter detailing some very interesting results in the treatment of cancerous tumors and it's ability to not damage non-cancerous cells.

From above link said:
This paper describes a flexible microplasma jet device using a Tygon® S-54-HL tube as a
biocompatible tube and its potential in developing cancer therapies. The optical and physical
properties of the plasma jets and preliminary apoptosis data of cultured murine tumor cells and
nontumor fibroblast cells treated with these plasma jets are presented. Microplasma jets were
observed to induce apoptosis in cultured murine cells in a dose-dependent manner. The murine
melanoma tumor cells were more sensitive to plasma treatment than fibroblast cells. These features
allow the direct and precise application of this microplasma jet device to tumor cells. © 2010
American Institute of Physics.
 

@RaXxaa@

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#2
Not reading all of it but it sounds like they reinvented hid lamps? or something alot similar...
 

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#3
doesn't that just create UV radiation which kills bacteria ?
 
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#4
Think of what this will do for fleshlight sterility/cleanliness!
 

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#5
We all know plasma lazors kill, so this is only natural :D
 
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#6
There are several way to kill germs. UV light, ozone generators etc. Not sure where does this one fall into. Very high voltage and metallic electrodes usually result in ozone generation...
 
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#7
Its unexplainable magic. Stop asking questions. The great pasta has bequeathed us with acgift.
 
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#8
well dentists already use UV light to cure the white stuff the use for filling cavities. :roll:
no really they use UV "caulking" to repair cavities... (ok unintended puns...)
ok... i dont know the terminology dentists use for repairing cavities... but it is UV cured.

so this would be a welcome addition for those that have to have a root canal... instead of removing all of the "bits" of the root ( i think a root canal is removing all of the infected root of the tooth) they might be able to remove the cavity bits, blast the tooth with the plasma rays, and fill .... alot less painful...

off-topic... i hated the CSIRO for the trollish behavior involving wifi... but with this advance I will have to say that the money paid to CSIRO by hp et al. is going to good use. so I will have to change my fellings about the CSIRO to it's "like going to a beach with wicked weasel bikinis"... :respect:
 
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W1zzard

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#9
well dentists already use UV light to cure the white stuff the use for filling cavities.
no really they use UV "caulking" to repair cavities... (ok unintended puns...)
ok... i dont know the terminology dentists use for repairing cavities... but it is UV cured.
afaik it's a UV activated epoxy. so accelerate the hardening process they use the UV lamp (you don't want to sit for hours at the dentist with the sun shining in your face)

i don't think it's used to kill anything
 

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#10
Yes, there are many UV cured resins. That's not what the OP articles are refering to.

The devices create a plasma plume, which is then applied to cells.
In the posted OP article they are simply using it to kill bacteria several cell layers deep.
In the linked article they are using a tightly focused, narrow plume generated at the tip of a guidable oscopic device to directly target tumorous cancer cells, with very little affect on nearby non-neoplast (fibroblast) cells.

If you think about it, the ability to sneak in (oscopy) and target a cancerous tumor that may be in an inoperable location has been a dream of doctors and oncologists for quite some time.
 
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#11
sorry for the bad example.. was just thinking it would be useful, just like the UV hardened Resin...:ohwell: another (for me) addon to the "typonese" idea pile:twitch:
 

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#12
Sorry to sideline but it reminded me of another technology/treatment for prostate cancer. Instead of UV they use ultrasound and bombard the cancerous area.

Source.

My Uncle suffers from prostate cancer reading this brings me hope.
 

Kreij

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#13
@redeye : No need to apologize. Your reference to the fact that UV radiation can alter the properties of certain compounds is a good example of what has been accomplished with various radiation experiments. The more physicists and medical researches experiment the more they are discovering every day.

@IC : I'm sorry to hear about you Uncle. Prayers up.
Cancer used to be a hush-hush topic but that's not the case anymore. Many cancers are now not only treatable, but the prognoses are getting better every day. Many years ago a male who got Hodgkin's Lymphoma was basically written off. Now there is a 95% cure rate with the treatments available (not as good with women for some reason :( )

Hold onto that hope, IC ... Never surrender, never look back.

.... and thanks for the link. Here is the full text summary of that study if you want to read it.
No histological evidence of cancer was identified in 30 of 39 men biopsied at 6 months (77%, 95% CI 61—89); 36 (92%, 79—98) were free of clinically significant cancer. After retreatment in four men, 39 of 41 (95%, 95% CI 83—99) had no evidence of disease on multiparametric MRI at 12 months.
THAT. ROCKS. :rockout:
 
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#14
This is the kind of thing humanity needs to focus on more often imo. We have so much at our disposal and we have no idea for how long. We seem to waste a lot of time on trivial things, when something this simple, could of been helping cure cancer, 100 years ago. This is pretty amazing to me.. Being an ex smoker and having my pop die, from cancer. Yea, this is a big thumbs up..
 
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#15
well dentists already use UV light to cure the white stuff the use for filling cavities. :roll:
no really they use UV "caulking" to repair cavities... (ok unintended puns...)
ok... i dont know the terminology dentists use for repairing cavities... but it is UV cured.

so this would be a welcome addition for those that have to have a root canal... instead of removing all of the "bits" of the root ( i think a root canal is removing all of the infected root of the tooth) they might be able to remove the cavity bits, blast the tooth with the plasma rays, and fill .... alot less painful...

off-topic... i hated the CSIRO for the trollish behavior involving wifi... but with this advance I will have to say that the money paid to CSIRO by hp et al. is going to good use. so I will have to change my fellings about the CSIRO to it's "like going to a beach with wicked weasel bikinis"... :respect:
As mentioned by others, the UV light most dentists have, is used to cure the composite resins, among other things like resin modified glass ionomer base and luting cements and many other materials activated by UV, but as W1zzard said, it's not really used it for killing bacteria.

As for RCTs, unfortunately, as of yet, only mechanical methods like rotary or hand driven Nickel-Titanium files can be used to clean and shape the canals to the apex; laser handpieces like Nd:YAG (neodynium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet) are already used for dental and periodontal surgery with limited need for anesthetics, though.

Your suggestion is an awesome idea! and chances are, people involved with this technology are already working on such a device, to be used not only for endodontic procedures, but many other kinds of inoperable cancerous tumors! A flexible plasma micro flashlight based on the technology cited in this thread, that could be bent and inserted into root canals (and other hard to reach areas) and kill bacteria and cancerous cells, would be of great help in endodontics and many other health related fields. but I doubt the technology can be reduced to the necessary size to be succesfuly used to clean the apices of infected canals in its current form, that doesn't mean it will happen eventually, and perhaps, in the near future this technology will be used the same way you mentioned :rockout:

Although the study mentions Enterococcus faecalis as a bacteria that can be killed with the plasma in biofilm (like plaque or perhaps smear layer) I don't think they have used it in actual root canals.. yet, the technology has great potential! :toast:

For now you have to trust your dentist makes good use of a good old fashioned dental dam, irrigation with NaOCl solutions, and mechanical cleaning and shaping of root canals with NiTi files and a EDTA lubricant gel to try and kill as much bacteria in root canals and remove the smear layer without the risk of contamination from external factors like saliva when he does a root canal for you :p

The plasma flashlight mentioned here cannot be easily dismissed though, and as technology progresses, it'll be used for things more microscopic instead of macroscopic, and quick cheap field sterilizing of instruments and infected sites and lesions, as well as the treatment of inoperable cancerous tumors, will be a great use for this "flashlight"; thanks for the link to the article Kreij, it was a great read!
 
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#16
As mentioned by others, the UV light most dentists have, is used to cure the composite resins, among other things like resin modified glass ionomer base and luting cements and many other materials activated by UV, but as W1zzard said, it's not really used it for killing bacteria.

As for RCTs, unfortunately, as of yet, only mechanical methods like rotary or hand driven Nickel-Titanium files can be used to clean and shape the canals to the apex; laser handpieces like Nd:YAG (neodynium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet) are already used for dental and periodontal surgery with limited need for anesthetics, though.

Your suggestion is an awesome idea! and chances are, people involved with this technology are already working on such a device, to be used not only for endodontic procedures, but many other kinds of inoperable cancerous tumors! A flexible plasma micro
flashlight based on the technology cited in this thread, that could be bent and inserted into root canals (and other hard to reach areas) and kill bacteria and cancerous cells, would be of great help in endodontics and many other health related fields. but I doubt the technology can be reduced to the necessary size to be succesfuly used to clean the apices of infected canals in its current form, that doesn't mean it will happen eventually, and perhaps, in the near future this technology will be used the same way you mentioned :rockout:

Although the study mentions Enterococcus faecalis as a bacteria that can be killed with the plasma in biofilm (like plaque or perhaps smear layer) I don't think they have used it in actual root canals.. yet, the technology has great potential! :toast:

For now you have to trust your dentist makes good use of a good old fashioned dental dam, irrigation with NaOCl solutions, and mechanical cleaning and shaping of root canals with NiTi files and a EDTA lubricant gel to try and kill as much bacteria in root canals and remove the smear layer without the risk of contamination from external factors like saliva when he does a root canal for you :p

The plasma flashlight mentioned here cannot be easily dismissed though, and as technology progresses, it'll be used for things more microscopic instead of macroscopic, and quick cheap field sterilizing of instruments and infected sites and lesions, as well as the treatment of inoperable cancerous tumors, will be a great use for this "flashlight"; thanks for the link to the article Kreij, it was a great read!
Really very nice information on different flashlight technologies. I prefer led lights for my home usage. Nice bright and very cost effective:rockout::rockout:
 
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