Sara Pereira

PhD Student (PD/BD/114444/2016)
PhD Programme: Radiation Biology and Biophysics


Research Areas

PhD Thesis: “Study of the effects of Cold Atmospheric Plasmas on skin cells" (2016-2020)

Adviser: Prof.ª Doutora Susana Sério

Plasma is a partially ionized gas that is composed by ions, electrons, photons and neutrals, which are active species capable of inducing different physical phenomena and chemical reactions. Many types of plasma can be created under ambient pressure and temperature conditions [1-3]. These cold atmospheric pressure plasmas (CAPs) have been developed in the last decade and have attracted much interest due to the potential of application in several fields (e.g. microelectronics, waste elimination and lighting) as a consequence of their interesting characteristics. Recent progress in CAPs showed that these cold plasmas can offer a minimally-invasive surgery option that allows specific cell removal without influencing the whole tissue [4]. For this reason, CAPs appear to be a good alternative to common treatments for cancer, such as radiation therapy and chemotherapy, which frequently leads to accidental cell death, i.e., necrosis, and therefore may cause permanent tissue damage [4-5].

This PhD project will address the effect of CAPs on biological systems, and study the underlying physico-chemical interaction processes between cells/living tissues and CAPs. In order to produce the CAPs, a device based in a Dielectric Barrier Discharge (DBD) method will be used.