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MSE Seminar Series: Michael Keidar
Friday, September 4, 2015
1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m.
Room 2108, Chemical and Nuclear Engineering Building
For More Information:
JoAnne Kagle

Cold Plasma Application in Cancer Therapy
Michael Keidar
Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering
School of Engineering and Applied Science
George Washington University

Plasma medicine is a relatively new field that outgrew from research in application of low-temperature (or cold) atmospheric plasmas in bioengineering. One of the most promising applications of cold atmospheric plasma (CAP) is the cancer therapy. Convincing evidence of CAP selectivity towards the cancel cells has been accumulated. This talk will summarize the state of the art of this emerging field presenting various aspects of CAP application in cancer such as role of reactive species (reactive oxygen and nitrogen), cell cycle modification, in vivo application, CAP interaction with cancer cells in conjunction with nanoparticles, computational oncology applied to CAP.


The efficacy of cold plasma in a pre-clinical model of various cancer types such as lung, bladder, breast, head, neck, brain and skin has been demonstrated. Both in-vitro and in-vivo studies revealed that cold plasmas selectively kill cancer cells. It was shown that: (a) cold plasma application selectively eradicates cancer cells in vitro without damaging normal cells. (b) Significantly reduced tumor size in vivo. The two best known cold plasma effects, plasma-induced apoptosis and the decrease of cell migration velocity can have important implications in cancer treatment by localizing the affected area of the tissue and by decreasing metastasic development. In addition, cold plasma treatment has affected the cell cycle of cancer cells. In particular, cold plasma induces a 2-fold increase in cells at the G2/M-checkpoint in both papilloma and carcinoma cells at ~24 hours after treatment, while normal epithelial cells did not show significant differences. It was shown that reactive oxygen species metabolism and oxidative stress responsive genes are deregulated.


Effects related to plasma-activated media will be discussed. In particular, recent study shows that by altering the concentration of fetal bovine serum in Dulbecco’s modified Eagle’s medium and the temperature to store CAP stimulated media, controllable strategies to harness the stimulated media can be developed.


Tumor growth and its response to plasma treatment were simulated using a three-dimensional hybrid discrete– continuum model. The results compare untreated and treated tumors of varying sizes by measuring spatiotemporal data to predict trends of tumor evolution. The simulation results show that the treated tumor death, irrespective of tumor volume, follows an exponential decay and that the untreated tumor follows an expected growth pattern.

About the Speaker
Michael Keidar is the Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Neurological Surgery at the George Washington University. He received the M.Sc. degree with honors (focus area: Electric Propulsion) from Kharkov Aviation Institute, Kharkov, Ukraine, in 1989 and the Ph.D. degree from Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel, in 1997 (focus area: Plasma Physics). He was a Fulbright Fellow with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA, a Research Associate with Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, and a Research Scientist and Adjunct Professor with the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Currently, he currently is Professor with George Washington University, Washington, DC.  His research concerns advanced spacecraft propulsion, plasma-based nanotechnology, plasma-material interactions, and plasma medicine. He has authored over 180 journal articles and author of textbook “Plasma Engineering: from Aerospace and Nano and Bio technology” (Elsevier, March 2013).

Prof. Keidar serves as an Editor-in-chief of Graphene, member of Editorial Board of Scientific Reports (Nature) and member of editorial board of half dozen of journals, Guest Editor of the IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON PLASMA SCIENCE, Physics of Plasmas, J. Phys. D. He is also Director of GW Institute for Nanotechnology. He is Fellow of APS, Associate Fellow of AIAA.

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