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Plasma Medicine
SJR: 0.271 SNIP: 0.316 CiteScore™: 1.9

ISSN Druckformat: 1947-5764
ISSN Online: 1947-5772

Plasma Medicine

DOI: 10.1615/PlasmaMed.2018028781
pages 335-343

Universality of Micromolar-Level Cell-Based Hydrogen Peroxide Generation during Direct Cold Atmospheric Plasma Treatment

Dayun Yan
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, The George Washington University, Science and Engineering Hall, 800 22nd Street, NW, Room 3550, Washington, DC 20052, USA
Li Lin
Department of Pathology, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, 121 Jiangjiayuan Rd, Nanjing 010011, China; Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, The George Washington University, Washington, DC 20052, USA
Wenjun Xu
State Key Laboratory of Electrical Insulation and Power Equipment, Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, 710049, China
Niku Nourmohammadi
School of Medicine and Health Sciences, The George Washington University, Washington, D.C. 20037
Jonathan H. Sherman
Neurological Surgery, The George Washington University, Foggy Bottom South Pavilion, 22nd Street NW, 7th Floor, Washington, DC 20052, USA
Michael Keidar
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, The George Washington University, Science and Engineering Hall, 800 22nd Street, NW, Room 3550, Washington, DC 20052, USA


Understanding the interaction between cold atmospheric plasma (CAP) and cells is a critical challenge in plasma medicine. CAP has shown promising application for cancer treatment. To date, dozens of cancer cells have been selectively killed during in vitro studies, and CAP-originated reactive species have been regarded to be the primary factor causing cancer cell death. In the past, we investigated hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) generation at the micromolar level using two CAP-treated cancer cell lines. In this study, we further demonstrate the universality of such strong cell-based H2O2 generation in eight cancer cell lines. Nearly all lines showed capacity to generate a micromolar level of H2O2 during 1 min of CAP treatment when discharge voltage (peak value) was > 3.30 kV. Generally, higher discharge voltage corresponds to stronger cell-based H2O2 generation, although some cell lines produce maximum H2O2 generation at relatively low discharge voltage. Cell-based H2O2 generation may involve interaction between cancer cells and reactive oxygen species in CAP. The CAP optical emission spectrum demonstrates a significant increase in singlet oxygen (O) and hydroxyl (OH) radicals in CAP when discharge voltage is > 3.30 kV. This study demonstrates the universality of cell-based H2O2 generation that has not been considered in previous studies.


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