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    Plasma‐treated flammulina velutipes‐derived extract showed anticancer potential in human breast cancer cells
    (Basel : MDPI, 2020) Mitra, Sarmistha; Bhartiya, Pradeep; Kaushik, Neha; Nguyen, Linh Nhat; Wahab, Rizwan; Bekeschus, Sander; Choi, Eun Ha; Kaushik, Nagendra Kumar
    Natural products with medicinal properties are among alternative therapies of interest due to their high body tolerance. We aimed to determine whether nonthermal gas plasma could enhance the medicinal value of Flammulina velutipes mushrooms. Generated gas plasma was characterized by its emission spectrum in ambient air, pH, temperature, and H2O2 and NOx concentrations after exposure for various periods. Phenolic and flavonoid contents in the extracts were measured using antioxidant assays and Fourier transform infrared and ultraviolet‐visible spectroscopy. We analyzed the effects of the plasma‐treated mushroom‐derived extracts against breast carcinoma using the MCF7 and MDA‐MB231 cell lines. The extracts significantly and concentration dependently inhibited the growth of breast cancer cells without inducing toxicity in normal MCF10A cells, and induced apoptosis via oxidative stress, evidenced by DNA damage (γ‐ H2AX foci formation), and increased the population of MCF7 breast cancer cells arrested in the G2/M phase of the cell cycle. The extracts also induced mitochondrion‐mediated apoptosis of MCF7 cells through cytochrome c release and caspase cleavage activity. The plasma improved the biological activity of mushrooms by increasing their phenolic compounds that prevented the growth of breast cancer cells in vitro. © 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
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    Activation of murine immune cells upon co-culture with plasma-treated B16F10 melanoma cells
    (Basel : MDPI, 2019) Rödder, Katrin; Moritz, Juliane; Miller, Vandana; Weltmann, Klaus-Dieter; Metelmann, Hans-Robert; Gandhirajan, Rajesh; Bekeschus, Sander
    Recent advances in melanoma therapy increased median survival in patients. However, death rates are still high, motivating the need of novel avenues in melanoma treatment. Cold physical plasma expels a cocktail of reactive species that have been suggested for cancer treatment. High species concentrations can be used to exploit apoptotic redox signaling pathways in tumor cells. Moreover, an immune-stimulatory role of plasma treatment, as well as plasma-killed tumor cells, was recently proposed, but studies using primary immune cells are scarce. To this end, we investigated the role of plasma-treated murine B16F10 melanoma cells in modulating murine immune cells' activation and marker profile. Melanoma cells exposed to plasma showed reduced metabolic and migratory activity, and an increased release of danger signals (ATP, CXCL1). This led to an altered cytokine profile with interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and CCL4 being significantly increased in plasma-treated mono- and co-cultures with immune cells. In T cells, plasma-treated melanoma cells induced extracellular signal-regulated Kinase (ERK) phosphorylation and increased CD28 expression, suggesting their activation. In monocytes, CD115 expression was elevated as a marker for activation. In summary, here we provide proof of concept that plasma-killed tumor cells are recognized immunologically, and that plasma exerts stimulating effects on immune cells alone. © 2019 by the authors.
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    Gas Flow Shaping via Novel Modular Nozzle System (MoNoS) Augments kINPen-Mediated Toxicity and Immunogenicity in Tumor Organoids
    (Basel : MDPI, 2023) Berner, Julia; Miebach, Lea; Herold, Luise; Höft, Hans; Gerling, Torsten; Mattern, Philipp; Bekeschus, Sander
    Medical gas plasma is an experimental technology for anticancer therapy. Here, partial gas ionization yielded reactive oxygen and nitrogen species, placing the technique at the heart of applied redox biomedicine. Especially with the gas plasma jet kINPen, anti-tumor efficacy was demonstrated. This study aimed to examine the potential of using passive flow shaping to enhance the medical benefits of atmospheric plasma jets (APPJ). We used an in-house developed, proprietary Modular Nozzle System (MoNoS; patent-pending) to modify the flow properties of a kINPen. MoNoS increased the nominal plasma jet-derived reactive species deposition area and stabilized the air-plasma ratio within the active plasma zone while shielding it from external flow disturbances or gas impurities. At modest flow rates, dynamic pressure reduction (DPR) adapters did not augment reactive species deposition in liquids or tumor cell killing. However, MoNoS operated at kINPen standard argon fluxes significantly improved cancer organoid growth reduction and increased tumor immunogenicity, as seen by elevated calreticulin and heat-shock protein expression, along with a significantly spurred cytokine secretion profile. Moreover, the safe application of MoNoS gas plasma jet adapters was confirmed by their similar-to-superior safety profiles assessed in the hen’s egg chorioallantoic membrane (HET-CAM) coagulation and scar formation irritation assay.
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    Plasma Medicine Technologies
    (Basel : MDPI, 2021) Kaushik, Nagendra Kumar; Bekeschus, Sander; Tanaka, Hiromasa; Lin, Abraham; Choi, Eun Ha
    This Special Issue, entitled “Plasma Medicine Technologies”, covers the latest remarkable developments in the field of plasma bioscience and medicine. Plasma medicine is an interdisciplinary field that combines the principles of plasma physics, material science, bioscience, and medicine, towards the development of therapeutic strategies. A study on plasma medicine has yielded the development of new treatment opportunities in medical and dental sciences. An important aspect of this issue is the presentation of research underlying new therapeutic methods that are useful in medicine, dentistry, sterilization, and, in the current scenario, that challenge perspectives in biomedical sciences. This issue is focused on basic research on the characterization of the bioplasma sources applicable to living cells, especially to the human body, and fundamental research on the mutual interactions between bioplasma and organic–inorganic liquids, and bio or nanomaterials.
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    ROS Pleiotropy in Melanoma and Local Therapy with Physical Modalities
    (Austin, Tex. : Landes Bioscience, 2021) Sagwal, Sanjeev Kumar; Bekeschus, Sander
    Metabolic energy production naturally generates unwanted products such as reactive oxygen species (ROS), causing oxidative damage. Oxidative damage has been linked to several pathologies, including diabetes, premature aging, neurodegenerative diseases, and cancer. ROS were therefore originally anticipated as an imperative evil, a product of an imperfect system. More recently, however, the role of ROS in signaling and tumor treatment is increasingly acknowledged. This review addresses the main types, sources, and pathways of ROS in melanoma by linking their pleiotropic roles in antioxidant and oxidant regulation, hypoxia, metabolism, and cell death. In addition, the implications of ROS in various physical therapy modalities targeting melanoma, such as radiotherapy, electrochemotherapy, hyperthermia, photodynamic therapy, and medical gas plasma, are also discussed. By including ROS in the main picture of melanoma skin cancer and as an integral part of cancer therapies, a greater understanding of melanoma cell biology is presented, which ultimately may elucidate additional clues on targeting therapy resistance of this most deadly form of skin cancer.
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    Plasma treatment limits human melanoma spheroid growth and metastasis independent of the ambient gas composition
    (Basel : MDPI AG, 2020) Hasse, Sybille; Meder, Tita; Freund, Eric; Woedtke, Thomas von; Bekeschus, Sander
    Melanoma skin cancer is still a deadly disease despite recent advances in therapy. Previous studies have suggested medical plasma technology as a promising modality for melanoma treatment. However, the efficacy of plasmas operated under different ambient air conditions and the comparison of direct and indirect plasma treatments are mostly unexplored for this tumor entity. Moreover, exactly how plasma treatment affects melanoma metastasis has still not been explained. Using 3D tumor spheroid models and high-content imaging technology, we addressed these questions by utilizing one metastatic and one non-metastatic human melanoma cell line targeted with an argon plasma jet. Plasma treatment was toxic in both cell lines. Modulating the oxygen and nitrogen ambient air composition (100/0, 75/25, 50/50, 25/75, and 0/100) gave similar toxicity and reduced the spheroid growth for all conditions. This was the case for both direct and indirect treatments, with the former showing a treatment time-dependent response while the latter resulted in cytotoxicity with the longest treatment time investigated. Live-cell imaging of in-gel cultured spheroids indicated that plasma treatment did not enhance metastasis, and flow cytometry showed a significant modulation of S100A4 but not in any of the five other metastasis-related markers (β-catenin, E-cadherin, LEF1, SLUG, and ZEB1) investigated. © 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
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    Biological Risk Assessment of Three Dental Composite Materials following Gas Plasma Exposure
    (Basel : MDPI, 2022) Bekeschus, Sander; Miebach, Lea; Pommerening, Jonas; Clemen, Ramona; Witzke, Katharina
    Gas plasma is an approved technology that generates a plethora of reactive oxygen species, which are actively applied for chronic wound healing. Its particular antimicrobial action has spurred interest in other medical fields, such as periodontitis in dentistry. Recent work has indicated the possibility of performing gas plasma-mediated biofilm removal on teeth. Teeth frequently contain restoration materials for filling cavities, e.g., resin-based composites. However, it is unknown if such materials are altered upon gas plasma exposure. To this end, we generated a new in-house workflow for three commonly used resin-based composites following gas plasma treatment and incubated the material with human HaCaT keratinocytes in vitro. Cytotoxicity was investigated by metabolic activity analysis, flow cytometry, and quantitative high-content fluorescence imaging. The inflammatory consequences were assessed using quantitative analysis of 13 different chemokines and cytokines in the culture supernatants. Hydrogen peroxide served as the control condition. A modest but significant cytotoxic effect was observed in the metabolic activity and viability after plasma treatment for all three composites. This was only partially treatment time-dependent and the composites alone affected the cells to some extent, as evident by differential secretion profiles of VEGF, for example. Gas plasma composite modification markedly elevated the secretion of IL6, IL8, IL18, and CCL2, with the latter showing the highest correlation with treatment time (Pearson’s r > 0.95). Cell culture media incubated with gas plasma-treated composite chips and added to cells thereafter could not replicate the effects, pointing to the potential that surface modifications elicited the findings. In conclusion, our data suggest that gas plasma treatment modifies composite material surfaces to a certain extent, leading to measurable but overall modest biological effects.
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    Physical plasma-treated skin cancer cells amplify tumor cytotoxicity of human natural killer (NK) cells
    (Basel : MDPI AG, 2020) Clemen, Ramona; Heirman, Pepijn; Lin, Abraham; Bogaerts, Annemie; Bekeschus, Sander
    Skin cancers have the highest prevalence of all human cancers, with the most lethal forms being squamous cell carcinoma and malignant melanoma. Besides the conventional local treatment approaches like surgery and radiotherapy, cold physical plasmas are emerging anticancer tools. Plasma technology is used as a therapeutic agent by generating reactive oxygen species (ROS). Evidence shows that inflammation and adaptive immunity are involved in cancer-reducing effects of plasma treatment, but the role of innate immune cells is still unclear. Natural killer (NK)-cells interact with target cells via activating and inhibiting surface receptors and kill in case of dominating activating signals. In this study, we investigated the effect of cold physical plasma (kINPen) on two skin cancer cell lines (A375 and A431), with non-malignant HaCaT keratinocytes as control, and identified a plasma treatment time-dependent toxicity that was more pronounced in the cancer cells. Plasma treatment also modulated the expression of activating and inhibiting receptors more profoundly in skin cancer cells compared to HaCaT cells, leading to significantly higher NK-cell killing rates in the tumor cells. Together with increased pro-inflammatory mediators such as IL-6 and IL-8, we conclude that plasma treatment spurs stress responses in skin cancer cells, eventually augmenting NK-cell activity. © 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
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    Plasma treatment limits cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma development in vitro and in vivo
    (Basel : MDPI AG, 2020) Pasqual-Melo, Gabriella; Nascimento, Thiago; Sanches, Larissa Juliani; Blegniski, Fernanda Paschoal; Bianchi, Julya Karen; Sagwal, Sanjeev Kumar; Berner, Julia; Schmidt, Anke; Emmert, Steffen; Weltmann, Klaus-Dieter; Woedtke, Thomas von; Gandhirajan, Rajesh Kumar; Cecchini, Alessandra Lourenço; Bekeschus, Sander
    Cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the most prevalent cancer worldwide, increasing the cost of healthcare services and with a high rate of morbidity. Its etiology is linked to chronic ultraviolet (UV) exposure that leads to malignant transformation of keratinocytes. Invasive growth and metastasis are severe consequences of this process. Therapy-resistant and highly aggressive SCC is frequently fatal, exemplifying the need for novel treatment strategies. Cold physical plasma is a partially ionized gas, expelling therapeutic doses of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species that were investigated for their anticancer capacity against SCC in vitro and SCC-like lesions in vivo. Using the kINPen argon plasma jet, a selective growth-reducing action of plasma treatment was identified in two SCC cell lines in 2D and 3D cultures. In vivo, plasma treatment limited the progression of UVB-induced SSC-like skin lesions and dermal degeneration without compromising lesional or non-lesional skin. In lesional tissue, this was associated with a decrease in cell proliferation and the antioxidant transcription factor Nrf2 following plasma treatment, while catalase expression was increased. Analysis of skin adjacent to the lesions and determination of global antioxidant parameters confirmed the local but not systemic action of the plasma anticancer therapy in vivo. © 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
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    Combining Biocompatible and Biodegradable Scaffolds and Cold Atmospheric Plasma for Chronic Wound Regeneration
    (Basel : Molecular Diversity Preservation International (MDPI), 2021) Emmert, Steffen; Pantermehl, Sven; Foth, Aenne; Waletzko-Hellwig, Janine; Hellwig, Georg; Bader, Rainer; Illner, Sabine; Grabow, Niels; Bekeschus, Sander; Weltmann, Klaus-Dieter; Jung, Ole; Boeckmann, Lars
    Skin regeneration is a quite complex process. Epidermal differentiation alone takes about 30 days and is highly regulated. Wounds, especially chronic wounds, affect 2% to 3% of the elderly population and comprise a heterogeneous group of diseases. The prevailing reasons to develop skin wounds include venous and/or arterial circulatory disorders, diabetes, or constant pressure to the skin (decubitus). The hallmarks of modern wound treatment include debridement of dead tissue, disinfection, wound dressings that keep the wound moist but still allow air exchange, and compression bandages. Despite all these efforts there is still a huge treatment resistance and wounds will not heal. This calls for new and more efficient treatment options in combination with novel biocompatible skin scaffolds. Cold atmospheric pressure plasma (CAP) is such an innovative addition to the treatment armamentarium. In one CAP application, antimicrobial effects, wound acidification, enhanced microcirculations and cell stimulation can be achieved. It is evident that CAP treatment, in combination with novel bioengineered, biocompatible and biodegradable electrospun scaffolds, has the potential of fostering wound healing by promoting remodeling and epithelialization along such temporarily applied skin replacement scaffolds.