Molecular level simulations for plasma medicine applications

Date: 17 May 2019

Venue: UAntwerpen, Campus Drie Eiken, R4 - Universiteitsplein 1 - 2610 Antwerpen-Wilrijk (route: UAntwerpen, Campus Drie Eiken)

Time: 10:00 AM

Organization / co-organization: Department of Chemistry

PhD candidate: Jamoliddin Razzokov

Principal investigator: Annemie Bogaerts

Short description: PhD defence Jamoliddin Razzokov - Faculty of Science, Department of Chemistry


Biomedical applications of cold atmospheric plasma (CAP) are gaining increasing interest. In particular, CAP seems very promising for various applications, such as bacterial decontamination, wound healing, drug delivery and even cancer treatment. However, the underlying mechanisms at the atomic scale are not yet fully understood. One of the reasons is that the exact mechanisms are difficult to explore experimentally.

CAP generates a rich mixture of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (RONS), which interact with living cells, inducing molecular level modifications to their components (e.g., lipids, proteins and DNA) upon oxidation. This will influence the intra- and/or intercellular signaling pathways, leading to various alterations in the cellular metabolism, which are stated to cause apoptosis, necrosis or immunogenic cell death. To better understand the effect of plasma on the cellular processes, a fundamental insight in the RONS-cell interactions and in the effect of plasma-induced oxidation, is crucial.

Complementary to experiments, computer simulations allow us to study the underlying processes with nanoscale precision. Thus, in my PhD project, I elucidated the mechanisms of RONS and glucose permeation and PS flip-flop across the native and oxidized cell membrane by means of MD simulations. Furthermore, I studied the impact of plasma oxidation to globular, fiber-like and signaling proteins in the context of wound healing, Alzheimer’s disease and cancer treatment, applying docking and MD simulations.

These findings help to reveal the complex interaction of CAP with the cell constituents in a qualitative way, and serve as an investment in order to develop CAP systems for clinical translation.