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Plasma jet blasts away stubborn fungal infections

July 11, 2016 06:12 AM

COURSTEY Jul 11 2016 : The Times of India (Ahmedabad)
Plasma jet blasts away stubborn fungal infections
Paul John

Innovative Treatment Tool From FCIPT Gandhinagar
The fourth state of matter -plasma -is now a new tool for dermatologists to fight recurrent fungal infections. The Institute for Plasma Research's Facilitation Centre for Industrial Plasma Technologies (FCIPT), Gandhinagar, has developed a special `nonthermal plasma jet', which looks like a pen, to treat a widespread fungal infection called tinea curcis.
Currently , the plasma jet is being tested on patients by Dr Sumit Sen at the dermatology department of Kolkata's Institute of Post Graduate Medical Education & Research. The project is a collaboration between FCIPT division head Dr Subroto Mukherjee and Dr Abhijit Majumdar of the department of physics at the Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology , Howrah.

“The results are encouraging. A doctor runs the plasma jet for 10 to 15 minutes on the affected area,“ said Mukherjee. “The fungal patch is cured to a great extent in three to four sittings.“ Doctors are conducting microbiological studies on the fungal patches to make treatments more effective.

The plasma jet uses 99% argon and 1% oxygen and is being currently tested in Kolkata on three patients with the tinea curcis infection.The infection mostly affects the inner part of the thighs and belly areas of farmers, who often work in stagnant ponds in West Bengal's rural areas. Mukherjee said that farmers often abandoned fungal treatments midway as the prescribed ointments are costly . “But in the case of the plasma treatment, patients need to report to the hospital just once a week for a 10-15 minute session,“ said Mukherjee. “We will soon use the plasma jet on 12 more patients, this time with different types of fungal infections.“

On June 26, IPR's director D Bora had given the go-ahead to the FCIPT division to allow Ahmedabad-based Aditya High Vacuum Pvt Ltd to develop biomedical applications from the Atmospheric Pressure Plasma Jet Technology .


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