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About us: The Center for Innovation Competence (ZIK) plasmatis

The center for innovation competence (ZIK) plasmatis, which started in December 2009, represents the unique combination of interdisciplinary fundamental research, which combines the expertise of bio chemists, pharmacists and physicists based on the model of wound healing. The ZIK plasmatis investigates to what extent cell activity can be influenced by physical cold plasmas. Two junior research groups ("cellular effects" and "extracellular effects") were established, in order to investigate the direct and indirect interaction of cold plasmas with cells.

In recent years, ZIK plasmatis has developed into an international leader in the field of plasma medicine with a focus on wound healing. In the future, this research will be deepened and investigated in detail in the areas of plasma liquid interactions and the influence of cold plasma in cellular redox processes by two new junior research groups "plasma liquid effects" and "plasma redox effects". The two new groups will be funded by the BMBF for a further five years. In addition, the two existing junior research groups will be consolidated at the Leibniz Institute for Plasma Research and Technology as research groups "plasma source concepts" (formerly "extracellular effects") and "plasma wound healing" (formerly "cellular effects"). They will contribute their expertise as associated partners to the ZIK plasmatis.

ZIK plasmatis has the most modern methods and a worldwide unique equipment at its disposal to further deepen the interdisciplinary basic research at the Greifswald site and to transfer it to new clinical fields.

Field of Application

  • Fundamental research plasma medicine
  • Applied research plasma medicine
  • Wound healing
  • Transfer of research results to further medical applications, e.g. tumor thearpy
  • Plasma source development
  • Optimization and adjustment of plasma sources

Junior Research Group "Plasma Redox Effects"

Reactive molecules ("free radicals") mediate biological plasma effects. They interfere with so-called "redox" processes within cells. The molecules produced by the plasma are the same, which arise in physiological processes in cells of the human body, and even function as signaling molecules. Cellular enzymes and the quality and quantity of the plasma-released species hereby determine which cellular response is triggered. In many diseases, such as cancer, the cellular enzyme repertoire is altered. Here, plasma treatment may have therapeutic effects.

The research group "plasma redox-effects" is conducting basic research on the interface between different research disciplines. These include redox biology, plasma medicine, oncology, and immunology. We work with tumor and immune cells in two and three-dimensional cell culture models, primary cells, animal models, and patient samples. Advanced cancer stages present two challenges to patients and physicians. On the one hand, cancer cells often spread throughout the body (metastasis), causing over 90% of the cancer. On the other hand, these cancer cells actively down-regulate recognition by immune cells. The group "plasma redox-effects" investigates the extent to which the plasma treatment can make cancer cells visible to the immune system. This results in cancer cell-fighting immune cells that can be effective throughout the body. This principle is already known from other forms of therapy in which reactive species are also produced. Whether plasma treatment may elicit antitumor immune responses, is examined in different tumor models such as skin cancer.

Project manager ZIK plasmatis - "Plasma Redox Effects":
Dr. Sander Bekeschus
Phone: +49 3834 - 554 3948

Junior Research group "Plasma Liquid Effects"

This junior research group should focus on the following objective: Is a detailed analytics of plasma liquid interactions able to identify primary responsible particular redox active species relevant for specific biological effects?

The aim of the Plasma-Liquid-Effects junior research group is to disentangle aqueous phase complex chemical processes induced by plasma treatment for a target reactive species composition. Based on fundamental and advanced liquid chemistry analytics with additional plasma and gas phase diagnostics, identification of reactive components and their impact on biological effect will be achieved. The fundamental knowledge of plasma liquid interaction is necessary to address key species and parameters for creation of tailored cocktail of active plasma components for specific biological reaction. This approach makes a plasma source adaption for particular therapeutic application possible.

Head of Junior Research Group ZIK plasmatis - "Plasma Liquid Effects":
Dr. Kristian Wende
Phone: +49 3834 - 554 3923

Research group " Plasma Wound Healing"

The research group "Plasma Wound Healing" arises from the former Junior Research Group "Cellular Effects and focusses on the transfer of molecular results from first phase into the clinical daily routines. This adaptation and transfer process is based on the fundamental question: "Does each single wound need a special plasma treatment due to the etiology of the wounds or due to different microbial colonization?"
The major outcome of ZIK plasmatis reseach is the fundamental knowledge of a selective stimulation of human cells and tissues by cold atmospheric pressure plasmas and their distinctive application.
The aim of the "Plasma Wound Healing" Group will be the adaptation of plasma processes to further develop the plasma treatment of wounds – focusing on molecular mechanisms. Based on the knowledge that each cell type reacts slightly different on a molecular level, the goal will be to identify such molecular differences like radical detoxification or repair mechanisms between microbes infecting a wound and the human cells. Finally, plasma treatment should be adapted in its composition to have the best impact on micro-organisms without affecting the surrounding cells of the wound. In addition plasma treatment will be used to support the immune system and further improve wound healing by stimulating processes such as angiogenesis and skin regeneration. This fundamental research will be accompanied be applied research directly based at our medical partners. In close collaboration with the clinicians of the Greifswald University Medicine and the "Hearth and Diabetes Center" of the clinics in Karlsburg this research group will run real "From bench to bedside" studies.

Head of Research Group ZIK plasmatis "Plasma Woundhealing":
Dr. Kai Masur
Phone: +49 3834 5543322


Research Group "Plasma Source Concepts"

The research group "Plasma Source Concepts" is a subsequent research organization of the former ZIK group "Extracellular Effects". The research activities will be based on the hypothesis: It is possible to design optimally adapted plasma sources or even to create entirely new concepts for specific applications, based on recently obtained plasma-medical understanding.
Recent basic research results allow for a substantiated approach in designing new plasma sources that fit to the specific needs of clinical medicine.
The scientific aim of the research group "Plasma Source Concepts" is to gain well-grounded insights for tailoring plasma produced agents in order to specifically modulate biological processes. This work is directly linked to the activities of the junior research groups "Plasma Liquid Effects" and "Plasma Redox Effects". Selective electron excitation and novel plasma source geometry designs are two approaches of the research group "Plasma Source Concepts" in specifically influencing the plasma chemistry.

Head of research Group ZIK plasmatis "Plasma Source Concepts":
Dr. Torsten Gerling
phone: +49 3834 5543852


Leibniz Institute for Plasma Science and Technology

plasmatis – Plasma plus Cell
Felix-Hausdorff-Str. 2
17489 Greifswald

Phone: +49 3834 - 554 3319
Fax: +49 3834 - 554 301