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BioMed Research International
Volume 2016, Article ID 2876916, 9 pages
Research Article

Effects of a Nonthermal Atmospheric Pressure Plasma Jet on Human Gingival Fibroblasts for Biomedical Application

1Department and Research Institute of Dental Biomaterials and Bioengineering, College of Dentistry, Yonsei University, 50 Yonsei-ro, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul 03722, Republic of Korea
2Institute of Tissue Regeneration Engineering (ITREN), Dankook University, Daeda-ro 119, Dongnam-gu, Cheonan 31116, Republic of Korea
3Department of Dental Hygiene, Kyungdong University, 815 Gyeonhwon-ro, Munmak, Wonju, Gangwondo 24695, Republic of Korea

Received 18 March 2016; Revised 17 June 2016; Accepted 11 July 2016

Academic Editor: Adriano Piattelli

Copyright © 2016 Jung-Hwan Lee and Kyoung-Nam Kim. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Nonthermal atmospheric pressure plasma jets (APPJ) have been developed and applied in biomedical research as a cancer treatment or bacterial sterilization. However, the drawback of APPJ on normal oral cells during plasma treatment and underlying cell death mechanisms have not been studied and clearly explained, although there is known to be an influence from reactive oxygen species (ROS). Hence, this study investigates whether and how a nonthermal atmospheric pressure air plasma jet kills human normal gingival cells using immortalized human gingival fibroblasts (hTERT-hNOF cells). In this study, a set of physicochemical or biological methods were used to illuminate the killing mechanisms. It was found that ROS were induced intracellularly without a breakdown of the cell wall and apoptosis was involved in cell death when an air APPJ treatment was performed on the cells directly without media; the air treatment only supported a detachment of the cells without increase of ROS. It was also revealed that a correlation between intracellular ROS concentration and cells viability existed. These results indicated that the direct air APPJ treatment possibly raises safety issue to normal tissue and thereby APPJ application in biomedical field needs more in vitro and in vivo study to optimize it.