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Johnson Cancer Research Center

Dr. Sung-0 Kim

Department: Electrical & Computer Engineering
Departmental Website

My research group is working on an endoscopic microplasma cancer therapy using optical fibers. The bio-medical application of cold atmospheric plasma devices is most advantageous compared with conventional surgery or therapies in that it is non-invasive, uses low power at low temperatures, is durable, simple, easily fabricated, handy and light and inexpensive, and it has high chemical reactivity and excellent stability.

Traditional chemotherapy and radiation therapies used against cancer have been dominated by chemistry-based protocols, which, unfortunately, cause serious side effects. Consequently, there is a need to develop analogous physics-based tools that obviate such side-effects. We use high electric fields and/or charged/radical particles from plasma-based devices to cause selective apoptotic death of cancer cells. Specifically, we have fabricated a highly-flexible micro-plasma jet device based upon hollow glass optical fibers that generate a cold micro-plasma plume that interacts preferentially with cancer cells. Such plasmas can initiate apoptosis with few or no side-effects in multicellular organisms. Plasma is an ionized medium that contains many active components including electrons and ions, free radicals, reactive molecules and photons.