Plasma therapy offers an exciting and novel way of cancer treatment. Specifically, it is shown that Jurkat death rates are closely governed by the plasma treatment time. However, apart from time, alterations to different parameters of treatment process may yield better results. Here, Dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) reactors excited by a nanosecond-pulse energy source are used to investigate cell viability for longer exposure times as well as the effects of polarity of reactor on treatment. Plasma discharge regimes are discussed and assessed using imaging and thermal imaging methods. We found that by changing the polarity of reactor i.e. changing the direction of plasma discharge, the plasma discharge regime changes influencing directly the effectiveness of treatment. Our results showed that ns-DBD- reactor could induce both apoptosis and necrosis of human Jurkat and U937 cells, and this cytotoxic effect of plasma was not completely antagonized by N-acetyl cysteine. It indicates that plasma could induce ROS-independent cell death. Gene expression analyses revealed that p53, BAD, BID and caspase 9 may play vital roles in plasma caused cell death. In addition, our findings demonstrate how different parameters can influence the effectiveness of our reactors. Our assay reveals the custom ability nature of plasma reactors for hematologic cancer therapy and our findings can be used for further development of such reactors using multi-objective optimisation techniques.
© 2022. The Author(s).