Blood clotting by low-temperature air plasma

Cheng Yen Chen, Hsin Wen Fan, Spencer P. Kuo, Jengwa Chang, Todd Pedersen, Travis J. Mills, Cheng Chiu Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper, the feasibility and effectiveness of using an air-plasma torch to clot blood are studied. The emission spectroscopy and temperature measurement of the torch show that the torch produces abundant atomic oxygen in the plasma effluent. Anticoagulated whole-blood samples (10 μℓ) were tested for two cases: 1) sample exposed to the plasma effluent and 2) sample exposed to a heated airflow; in both cases, the increase of the sample temperature was controlled to be about the same. No indication of blood coagulation was observed in the second case; on the other hand, in the first case when the blood sample was exposed directly to the plasma effluent, a shell was formed on the surface of the blood sample. The experimental results demonstrated that this plasma torch could clot a blood sample via a nonthermal mechanism. The dependence of the degree of blood clotting on the atomic-oxygen flux was demonstrated by varying the exposure distance. Experimental results also showed that blood coagulation was seen in the treated platelet-rich plasma sample but not in the treated platelet-poor plasma sample. Moreover, plasma treatment with multiple short exposures was shown as more effective in clotting blood than that of applying a continuous exposure with the same total exposure time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)993-999
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Transactions on Plasma Science
Issue number6 PART 1
StatePublished - 2009


  • Atomic-oxygen generation
  • Blood coagulation
  • Emission spectroscopy
  • Plasma torch

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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