Cold microplasmas have tremendous potential in medicine, for killing bacteria and healing wounds. In this project, the student will investigate new methods of generating cold plasma jets over a medium sized area, i.e. to mimic a typical small wound. These jets will kill the bacteria but must be tailored so as not to cause discomfort to the patient and therefore the project will investigate methods of strengthening the bacterial destruction effect at low temperatures. Later in the project, the delivery of active agents below the skin may be attempted.
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The project details below are as provided as the initial outline. You will have the opportunity to discuss the exact project details with me and together we will develop a research programme to suit your expertise and preferences.
Qualifications; First degree in any of the following: Physics, Physical Sciences, Electronic Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Polymer Science or similar subject area.
Subject For students interested in any of the following areas: Nanotechnology, Sensors, Pattern Recognition, Computation, Microplasmas, Biomedical Diagnostics, Microfabrication
First Supervisor: Maguire, PD Prof
Second Supervisor: Mariotti, D Dr
Collaboration: This project does not involve collaboration with another establishment
Microplasmas are simple electrical devices, made up of a very fine tube connected to a pulse or RF voltage. During operation very large amounts of electrical energy are transferred into a very small volume of gas (picolitres) which then emits light and also, possible, reactive chemical species. This make it very useful for many applications such as detecting breath gases, killing bacteria for wound healing, destroying diesel pollutants, detecting water toxins, making nanoparticles, nanotubes and other exotic materials etc. In this project we need to investigate how to monitor the effect of the plasma jet on the bacteria and how to adjust the microplasma to optimise the killing of bacteria yet maintaining other parameters, e.g. gas temperature, suitable for patient comfort.