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2022

Research with tradition: INP in Greifswald celebrates 30th anniversary

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Greifswald, 23 September 2022

The Leibniz Institute for Plasma Science and Technology (INP) will celebrate its 30th anniversary next week. Guests of honour from research, politics, business and society will celebrate this special event together with the approximately 200 employees of the institute in Greifswald. In addition to a ceremony, the INP will provide insights into its work with laboratory tours. Scientists will show the invited guests exclusively what they are currently researching. They explain what is important in their work and illustrate why low-temperature plasma research is so significant for science, society and industry. INP conducts research and development from idea to prototype and can look back on numerous innovations that have gained a foothold in business, medicine and industry.

The topics focus on the challenges of our time. Currently, the focus is on plasmas for materials and energy, environment and bioeconomy, and hygiene and health. Through its involvement in regional research projects such as Campfire, Physics for Food, biogeniV and the Forschungsfabrik MV (Hydrogen Research Factory MV), INP is also working on innovations for renewable energies and more environmentally friendly agriculture in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.

Prof. Dr. Klaus-Dieter Weltmann, Director of the INP, explains: "We are proud of the research and transfer results that INP has achieved over the last three decades. Our claim is to make an important contribution to society with application-oriented basic research and to provide innovative ideas, for example for the energy transition, medicine and sustainable food production."

Founded in 1992 in Greifswald, the Leibniz Institute for Plasma Science and Technology e.V. (INP) is today the largest non-university research institute on low-temperature plasmas in Europe. Organised as a non-profit association, the INP has belonged to the Leibniz Association since its foundation.

Plasma research has a long tradition in Greifswald. For more than a hundred years, scientists in the Hanseatic city have been experimenting with ionised gases. If energy is added to a gas, a plasma is created, also known as the fourth state of matter. The natural phenomenon of plasma is found, for example, in the sun, in the northern lights or in lightning. Plasmas are used in a variety of technical products. Lighting, screens, scratch-resistant surfaces, microelectronic components or mirroring of glass and similar surfaces are based on plasma technology today. Welding, electrical switches, solar systems or fuel cells would also be inconceivable without plasma research. New plasma processes enable the healing of wounds, the disinfection of food or the purification of wastewater. 

Judith Pirscher, State Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Bettina Martin, Minister for Science, Culture, Federal and European Affairs of the State of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Prof. Dr. Martina Brockmeier, President of the Leibniz Association, Dr. Stefan Fassbinder, Mayor of the City of Greifswald, Prof. Dr. Katharina Riedel, Rector of the University of Greifswald, and Dr. Thomas Hammer, Siemens, congratulate this research with tradition, which has made a name for itself nationally and internationally over the past 30 years. Afterwards, Prof. Dr. Holger Kersten from the Christian Albrechts University in Kiel will give a guest lecture on current aspects of plasma research.

For further information:
Stefan Gerhardt // Communication Department
Tel.: +49 3834 554 3903 // stefan.gerhardtinp-greifswaldde
Felix-Hausdorff-Straße 2 // 17489 Greifswald // www.leibniz-inp.de

Cold physical plasma kills corona viruses

Greifswald, 06 September 2022 - A Greifswald research team from the Centre of Excellence ZIK plasmatis at the Leibniz Institute for Plasma Science and Technology e.V. (INP) was able to demonstrate for the first time in laboratory experiments the inactivation of corona viruses by physical plasma. The new method promises innovative therapies for the corona pandemic and other infectious diseases.

Physical plasma, the so-called fourth state of matter, has been finding its way into medicine for several years. Clinical successes are increasingly being recorded, particularly in the healing of chronic wounds. The effectiveness is based, among other things, on the ability of cold physical plasma to effectively kill pathogens and thus fight wound infection.

Prevention and control of infections have become more important as a result of the Covid 19 pandemic. More than ever, new measures and approaches are needed to protect people and health systems from the consequences of the pandemic. Cold physical plasma can also play a role here. The effectiveness of plasma against a wide range of microorganisms, including multi-resistant pathogens, has been demonstrated many times. In contrast, there are comparatively few studies on the effectiveness against viruses.   

In Greifswald, it has now been shown that the ability of viruses to penetrate cells is significantly reduced after contact with a newly developed plasma jet. In the specific experiment, hepatitis viruses from mice (MHV-A59-eGFP), which belong to the group of corona viruses, were treated. The effect is due to free radicals that are formed in the plasma.

Prof. Dr. Thomas von Woedtke, head of plasma medicine at INP, comments: "Our goal is a plasma device that can be used to combat viruses such as SARS-CoV-2 directly on the oral mucosa. The laboratory results are an important step in this direction. We were able to identify the mechanism of inactivation of the viruses. From this, a variety of new, innovative approaches for the therapy and prevention of pandemics and infections in general can be derived."

The study, currently published in the journal Free Radical in Biology & Medicine, was conducted as part of the project "PlasmaplusCorona - Plasma-based disinfection of the respiratory tract to reduce the SARS-CoV-2 viral load in vitro and in vivo", funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) since 2021, in which a research network with the Leibniz Institute of Virology (LIV, Hamburg) and the Leibniz Lung Centre (FZB, Borstel) under the leadership of the Leibniz Institute for Plasma Science and Technology e. V. (INP) is researching a technical solution for the local treatment of the virus-infected respiratory tract.

Original article:
D.M. Mrochen, L. Miebach, H. Skowski, R. Bansemer, C.A. Drechsler, M. Hein, U. Mamat, T. Gerling, U. Schaible, T. von Woedtke, S. Bekeschus. Toxicity and virucidal activity of a neon-driven micro plasma jet on eukaryotic cells and a coronavirus. Free Radical Biology and Medicine (2022),

doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2022.08.026

For further information:
Stefan Gerhardt // Communication Department
Tel.: +49 3834 554 3903 // stefan.gerhardtinp-greifswaldde
Felix-Hausdorff-Straße 2 // 17489 Greifswald // www.leibniz-inp.de/en

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Leibniz Institute for Plasma Science and Technology
Felix-Hausdorff-Str. 2
17489 Greifswald

Stefan Gerhardt
Communication

Tel.: +49 3834 - 554 3903
Fax: +49 3834 - 554 301

stefan.gerhardt@inp-greifswald.de
www.leibniz-inp.de

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