Healing with Cold Plasma - Wacker Chemie AG

Healing with Cold Plasma

Ingenious wound dressing – the patch only works when it glows. Cold plasma kills germs yet does not attack human cells – on the contrary, it activates the body’s self-healing powers.

Although cold plasma can kill microbes, it does not negatively impact human cells. On the contrary: “They respond by releasing cytokines, for example,” says Tobias Güra, medical economist of the Coldplasmatech team. “These messengers stimulate the immune system and cell growth and ensure that new blood vessels form.” Overall, the plasma activates the body’s self-healing powers.

Stimulation for the Immune System

Its antibacterial and immunostimulatory properties make the blue gas a valuable instrument for the medicine of tomorrow – especially for modern wound care. “And, due to demographic change, demand in this sector will increase greatly in the future,” says Dajana Westenberg, business development manager for wound care at WACKER. “People are getting older and are bedridden for longer – this increases the risk of bedsores, a pressure ulcer of the skin.”

Healing Bedsores

According to a study by the Institute for Medical/Nursing Education and Nursing Science at Berlin’s Charité university hospital, 10 percent of all immobile patients in German nursing homes suffer from bedsores – this figure is as high as 27 percent in clinics. In addition, the number of diabetes patients is on the rise. Individuals with this metabolic disease tend to have circulatory disorders and poorly healing wounds as well. In Germany alone, approximately five million people suffer from chronic wounds, according to estimates by Helios Kliniken, a German clinic group. Moreover, damaged skin offers a portal of entry to pathogenic organisms that can put patients’ health at further risk – and thus also burden the healthcare systems.

Biocompatible Materials

“It was particularly important to us that the materials be biocompatible, in order to fulfill strict regulatory requirements,” explains medical economist Güra. This quickly led the team to silicones produced by WACKER that satisfied the highest of medical standards. “WACKER not only provided us with high-quality materials – we also received expert advice from technical service staff,” reports Güra. “In WACKER, we have found a partner with whom we can actively pursue this new, innovative therapeutic approach.”

WACKER already supplies numerous manufacturers of wound dressings with its SILPURAN® product line – and the trend is likely to continue. “Our silicone division views wound care as a focal topic that is likely to experience above-average growth over the coming years,” explains Dr. Peter Jerschow, head of the Industrial Solutions business team at WACKER. “Our innovative product solutions are our contribution toward better treatments in this field.”

Treating skin damaged by bedsores and the tissue beneath it is not just laborious, but often a lengthy process, too – and, above all, painful. Each routine change of wound dressings, though necessary, is an ordeal for the affected person, which slows down the healing process. “Patients suffer greatly,” reports Coldplasmatech’s Mahrenholz, who monitored conventional treatment methods together with his team. “In order to develop a cold-plasma-based treatment that is practical and suitable for everyday use, we contacted doctors, patients, nursing staff and clinics early on,” says the chemist. The team quickly realized that wound dressings are the preferred choice and optimally complement previously used medical products. The interdisciplinary INP team then took up the challenge of designing a dressing with which the healing plasma can be generated directly at the wound surface.

“The therapy will only take a few minutes and will be absolutely pain-free.”

Tobias Güra Co-founder of Coldplasmatech

Silicones offer a range of advantages in the medical sector. They make atraumatic, i.e. very gentle, dressing changes possible – as the dressing does not adhere to the wound, it obviates pain and the tissue does not become irritated. Thanks to their water-vapor permeability and breathability, SILPURAN® silicones also create an optimum healing environment. Wounds close up more quickly and patients can leave the clinic sooner – a great advantage for the patient’s well-being.