Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Colloquium

October 11, 2017
October 11, 2017
Speaker: Mounir Laroussi, Ph.D.
                  Old Dominion University   
Title: Plasma Medicine: Introduction and Progress Report
Location: Easton Hub Auditorium
                  Fiber Optics Building
Time:  3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
For additional information, please contact Professor Aaron Mazzeo at or 848-445-0504.
Imagine a patient arriving to the emergency room, bleeding profusely from a wound. The doctor pulls out a hand-held wand, flips a switch on and a purple beam of light suddenly appears at the end of the wand. The doctor aims the blue beam at the wound and a few seconds later the bleeding stops. At the same time the wound is disinfected and heals at a faster rate than usual. During this medical intervention no physical object touches the patient, who only feels a cold breeze of air blow over his/her wound. The scenario I just described may sound far-fetched at the moment but may not be for long. Scientists have been working for many years to make it a reality. The cold breeze that the patient feels comes from a flow of a noble gas, such as helium, but in an activated state known as “plasma”. In fact recent research is showing that such activated gas does not just coagulate blood and kill bacteria, but it can even kill cancer cells without harming the healthy ones. The physical and biochemical mechanisms of action of low temperature plasma are still not well understood. But already a large body of knowledge has been generated by a sizable interdisciplinary research community from all over the world [1] – [6]. In this talk, some of the history of the field, known as “plasma medicine” will be summarized. This will be followed by an overview of plasma devices used in plasma medicine research and a discussion on the effects of plasma on both healthy and cancerous cell lines.
Dr. Mounir Laroussi received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He now holds a Professor position at the Electrical & Computer Engineering Department of Old Dominion University (ODU) and is the Director of ODU’s Plasma Engineering & Medicine Institute (PEMI). Dr. Laroussi’s research interests are in the physics and applications of nonequilibrium gaseous discharges including the biomedical applications of low temperature plasma (LTP). He designed and developed numerous novel LTP devices such as the resistive barrier discharge (RBD) and the plasma pencil. He is co-discoverer of guided
ionization waves in low temperature plasma jets. Dr. Laroussi is also widely known for conducting the first pioneering experiments on the use of low temperature atmospheric pressure plasmas for biomedical applications and for highly contributing to the establishment of the interdisciplinary field of “Plasma Medicine”. For his scientific achievements in the field of low temperature plasmas and their biomedical applications he was elevated to the grade of Fellow by IEEE in 2009, was the recipient of the Inaugural Award from the International Society for Plasma Medicine, and was awarded the 2012 IEEE-NPSS Merit Award.