As a result of both the better understanding of complex plasma phenomena and the development of new plasma sources in the past few years, plasma medicine has developed into an innovative field of research showing high potential. While thermal plasmas have long been used in various medical fields (for instance for cauterization and sterilization of medical instruments), current research mainly focuses on application of non-thermal plasmas.
Experiments show that cold atmospheric plasmas (CAPs) allow efficient, contact-free and painless disinfection, even in microscopic openings, without damaging healthy tissue. Plasmas influence biochemical processes and offer new possibilities for the selective application of individually designable medically active substances. In dermatology, new horizons are being opened for wound healing, tissue regeneration, therapy of skin infections, and probably many more diseases. First clinical trials show the efficacy and tolerability of plasma in treating infected chronic wounds. A major task will be the introduction of plasma into clinical medicine and, simultaneously, the further investigation of the mechanisms of action of plasma at the cellular level.