Research News
Scientists Approach Nail Fungus through Low-temperature Plasma Technology
Date: 2019/12/23 Author: ZHOU Shu

Chinese scientists Huang Qing’s research group with Hefei Institutes of Physical Science used low-temperature plasma combined with persulfate in the treatment of onychomycosis, and further studied the treatment effect and involved mechanism.

Fungus infection, accounting for about 50% of the nail diseases, is one of the most common one to us all. Among fungae associated with onychomycosis, Trichophyton rubrum and Trichophyton mentagrophyte are two of the most important infectious pathogens, accounting for 80% of all dermatophytoses in humans. Current therapies still have some limitation or drawbacks in treating these diseases.

Their study showed that the additive persulfate solution had a promoting effect on the plasma treatment of onychomycosis. Low-temperature plasma could activate persulfate to produce SO4 -· which greatly improved the inactivation efficiency of T. rubrum.

In the work, they employed an atmospheric-pressure plasma jet (APPJ) device and spread persulfate solution on the fungal nails, and claimed that the T. rubrum residing in the infected nails could be killed completely after three rounds of such a treatment.

"Although the therapeutic effect was presently only based on the in vitro onychomycosis model, it showed its potential of curing onychomycosis. In practice, clinical treatment may also depend on the degree of the infection and some specific circumstances of the patients, which certainly needs further investigation”, as explained by Prof. HUANG.

Compared with these methods for treating onychomycosis, plasma treatment is relatively simple, inexpensive, safe and effective.

Link to the paper: Application of persulfate in low-temperature atmospheric-pressure plasma jet for enhanced treatment of onychomycosis

Photograph (A) and schematic plot (B) of the He plasma jet device applied to human nail infected with T. rubrum (Image by ZHANG Qunxia)

The therapeutic effect of APPJ combined with sodium persulfate on onychomycosis (Image by ZHANG Qunxia)





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