Microplasma

Microplasma/

The Surface Micro Discharge (SMD) Technology, developed and extensively tested at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, enables the production of cost-effective, flexible and scalable electrodes [Morfill et al. NJP 2009].

The structure of these SMD electrodes consists of

• one continuous electrode,
• an insulating layer
• and an additional grounded structured electrode.

By applying high voltage, microdischarges with dimensions of a few millimeters produce the plasma above the structered electrode (patent "Electrode arrangement for generating a non-thermal plasma" in Japan, patent application "Electrode arrangement for generating a non-thermal plasma" in Europe, USA and China).

Based on its flexibility and scalability the SMD technology enables the development of small, handy, battery-powered devices as well as bigger electrodes for the treatment of extensive areas or volumes. The size can be adapted to your requests. 

Further developments at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics and terraplasma GmbH also prove that "encapsulated" electrodes can be generated by an additional insulating layer on the grounded electrode structure [Li et al. PPP 2012]. These electrodes are easy to clean respectively self-sterilising electrodes (patent application "Appliance for at least partially sterilizing a contaminated surface" in Europa and USA).

Meanwhile, we are able to produce thin plasma layers - so-called thin-film electrodes - which can be operated with low voltages and therefore simplify the miniaturization. This technology allows the development of innovative and cost-effective products for professional use as well as for the end-consumer (patent application "Elektrodenanordnung und Plasmaquelle zur Erzeugung eines nichtthermischen Plasmas sowie ein Verfahren zum Betreiben einer Plasmaquelle" in Germany).

Results

Extensive tests with these SMD electrodes show the following results:

 

Safety

• The temperature of the plasma gas is below 40 ° C.
• When applied accurately the concentration of the emitted gases are below the statutory limits.
• The emitted UV radiation is below the permissible limits.
• The current flow through the patient is insignificant.

[Morfill et al. NJP 2009, Li et al. PPP 2012]

 

Efficiency

The required reduction to 99.999% and 99.9999% of bacteria, fungi, viruses and spores for disinfection and sterilization can be achieved in a short time.

[Ahlfeld et al. mBio 2015, Jeon et al. NJP 2014, Klämpfl et al. PPP 2014, Heinlin et al. Fut. Microbiol. 2013, Maisch et al. PLoS One 2012 Maisch et al. AEM 2012, Maisch et al. JIMB 2012, Zimmermann et al. PPP 2012, Klämpfl et al. AEM 2012, Zimmermann et al. JPD 2011, Shimizu et al. NJP 2011]

 

Compatibility of materials 

Long-term material compatibility tests proved no changes in the materials studied.

 

Biosafety

SMD plasma can be designed for large therapeutic options to use safely on wounds or intact skin.

[Boxhammer et al. MR 2013, Welz et al. JPD 2013, Isbary et al. CPMJ 2013, Maisch et al. PLoS One 2012, Shimizu et al. NJP 2012]