The general aim of plasma medicine is to introduce physical plasma into clinical practice. Plasma medicine can be subdivided into three main fields: plasma-assisted modification of bio-relevant surfaces, plasma-based bio-decontamination/sterilization, and direct therapeutic plasma application. Surface modification and decontamination are more or less indirect medical plasma applications where plasma technology is used to process material or devices for subsequent medical applications.
The aim of therapeutic plasma application as the central field of plasma medicine is to bring physical plasmas directly on or in the human (or animal) body. In order to treat living tissue, the plasma source must be artificially generated and at room temperature and pressure. Central to all medical applications are the antimicrobial as well as surface altering effects of plasma. These characteristics make it very attractive for different medical purposes, such as wound healing, dentistry, dermatology or implant medicine.
Due to its novelty and its interdisciplinarity, it is crucial to comprehend the biological effects and support, as well as accompany the transfer of atmospheric pressure plasma sources to medical-experimental research and further clinical trials. The successful interplay of medicine, biology and physics requires reciprocal understanding to be able to realize the full potential of medical plasma applications.
Plasma medicine is a very exciting, promising field, and first signs of its huge economic potential are already visible.