Document Type


Publication Date




Publication Title

Journal of Applied Physics






020901 (19 pp.)


Low temperature plasmas have been used in various plasma processing applications for several decades. But it is only in the last thirty years or so that sources generating such plasmas at atmospheric pressure in reliable and stable ways have become more prevalent. First, in the late 1980s, the dielectric barrier discharge was used to generate relatively large volume diffuse plasmas at atmospheric pressure. Then, in the early 2000s, plasma jets that can launch cold plasma plumes in ambient air were developed. Extensive experimental and modeling work was carried out on both methods and much of the physics governing such sources was elucidated. Starting in the mid-1990s, low temperature plasma discharges have been used as sources of chemically reactive species that can be transported to interact with biological media, cells, and tissues and induce impactful biological effects. However, many of the biochemical pathways whereby plasma affects cells remain not well understood. This situation is changing rather quickly because the field, known today as plasma medicine, has experienced exponential growth in the last few years thanks to a global research community that engaged in fundamental and applied research involving the use of cold plasma for the inactivation of bacteria, dental applications, wound healing, and the destruction of cancer cells/tumors. In this perspective, the authors first review the physics as well as the diagnostics of the principal plasma sources used in plasma medicine. Then, brief descriptions of their biomedical applications are presented. To conclude, the authors' personal assessment of the present status and future outlook of the field is given. Published by AIP Publishing.

Original Publication Citation

Laroussi, M., Lu, X., & Keidar, M. (2017). Perspective: The physics, diagnostics, and applications of atmospheric pressure low temperature plasma sources used in plasma medicine. Journal of Applied Physics, 122(2), 020901. doi:10.1063/1.4993710


0000-0001-6871-9001 (Laroussi)