Junior- and Research Groups
We promote and support junior staff on all levels of our institute and even beyond.
Junior staff development is, in all fields of activity, of particular concern to us in the competition for the best scientific minds. We pique young researchers’ interest in topics relevant to society as a whole thanks to our application oriented basic research. We permit concrete experiments in research and in cooperation with industry partners.
On the one hand, the young researcher groups at the INP are self-financed and on the other hand they are the result of funding phases of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research of ZIK plasmatis.
Junior Research Groups
Reactive molecules ("free radicals") mediate biological plasma effects. They interfere with so-called "redox" processes within cells. The molecules produced by the plasma are the same, which arise in physiological processes in cells of the human body, and even function as signaling molecules. Cellular enzymes and the quality and quantity of the plasma-released species hereby determine which cellular response is triggered. In many diseases, such as cancer, the cellular enzyme repertoire is altered. Here, plasma treatment may have therapeutic effects.
The research group "plasma redox-effects" is conducting basic research on the interface between different research disciplines. These include redox biology, plasma medicine, oncology, and immunology. We work with tumor and immune cells in two and three-dimensional cell culture models, primary cells, animal models, and patient samples. Advanced cancer stages present two challenges to patients and physicians. On the one hand, cancer cells often spread throughout the body (metastasis), causing over 90% of the cancer. On the other hand, these cancer cells actively down-regulate recognition by immune cells. The group "plasma redox-effects" investigates the extent to which the plasma treatment can make cancer cells visible to the immune system. This results in cancer cell-fighting immune cells that can be effective throughout the body. This principle is already known from other forms of therapy in which reactive species are also produced. Whether plasma treatment may elicit antitumor immune responses, is examined in different tumor models such as skin cancer.
This junior research group should focus on the following objective: Is a detailed analytics of plasma liquid interactions able to identify primary responsible particular redox active species relevant for specific biological effects?
The aim of the Plasma-Liquid-Effects junior research group is to disentangle aqueous phase complex chemical processes induced by plasma treatment for a target reactive species composition. Based on fundamental and advanced liquid chemistry analytics with additional plasma and gas phase diagnostics, identification of reactive components and their impact on biological effect will be achieved. The fundamental knowledge of plasma liquid interaction is necessary to address key species and parameters for creation of tailored cocktail of active plasma components for specific biological reaction. This approach makes a plasma source adaption for particular therapeutic application possible.
The research group "Plasma Wound Healing" arises from the former Junior Research Group "Cellular Effects and focusses on the transfer of molecular results from first phase into the clinical daily routines. This adaptation and transfer process is based on the fundamental question: "Does each single wound need a special plasma treatment due to the etiology of the wounds or due to different microbial colonization?"
The major outcome of ZIK plasmatis reseach is the fundamental knowledge of a selective stimulation of human cells and tissues by cold atmospheric pressure plasmas and their distinctive application.
The aim of the "Plasma Wound Healing" Group will be the adaptation of plasma processes to further develop the plasma treatment of wounds – focusing on molecular mechanisms. Based on the knowledge that each cell type reacts slightly different on a molecular level, the goal will be to identify such molecular differences like radical detoxification or repair mechanisms between microbes infecting a wound and the human cells. Finally, plasma treatment should be adapted in its composition to have the best impact on micro-organisms without affecting the surrounding cells of the wound. In addition plasma treatment will be used to support the immune system and further improve wound healing by stimulating processes such as angiogenesis and skin regeneration. This fundamental research will be accompanied b
e applied research directly based at our medical partners. In close collaboration with the clinicians of the Greifswald University Medicine and the "Hearth and Diabetes Center" of the clinics in Karlsburg this research group will run real "From bench to bedside" studies.
The research group "Plasmasource Concepts" is a subsequent research organization of the former ZIK group "Extracellular Effects". The research activities will be based on the hypothesis: It is possible to design optimally adapted plasma sources or even to create entirely new concepts for specific applications, based on recently obtained plasma-medical understanding.
Recent basic research results allow for a substantiated approach in designing new plasma sources that fit to the specific needs of clinical medicine.
The scientific aim of the research group "Plasmasource Concepts" is to gain well-grounded insights for tailoring plasma produced agents in order to specifically modulate biological processes. This work is directly linked to the activities of the junior research groups "Plasma Liquid Effects" and "Plasma Redox Effects". Selective electron excitation and novel plasmasource geometry designs are two approaches of the research group "Plasmasource Concepts" in specifically influencing the plasma chemistry.
A close collaboration with the center for competency diabetes Karlsburg accompanies this way. In addition, several different industrial contacts and projects are integrated into the work to evaluate and assess the new sources concepts even in early stages of research and development with application-based requirements from the viewpoint of producer and distributer.