Wound Healing Potential of Low Temperature Plasma in Human Primary Epidermal Keratinocytes

  • Hui Song Cui
  • Yoon Soo Cho
  • So Young Joo
  • Chin Hee Mun
  • Cheong Hoon SeoEmail author
  • June-Bum KimEmail author
Original Article



Low temperature plasma (LTP) was recently shown to be potentially useful for biomedical applications such as bleeding cessation, cancer treatment, and wound healing, among others. Keratinocytes are a major cell type that migrates directionally into the wound bed, and their proliferation leads to complete wound closure during the cutaneous repair/regeneration process. However, the beneficial effects of LTP on human keratinocytes have not been well studied. Therefore, we investigated migration, growth factor production, and cytokine secretion in primary human keratinocytes after LTP treatment.


Primary cultured keratinocytes were obtained from human skin biopsies. Cell viability was measured with the EZ-Cytox cell viability assay, cell migration was evaluated by an in vitro wound healing assay, gene expression was analyzed by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction, and protein expression was measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays and western blotting after LTP treatment.


Cell migration, the secretion of several cytokines, and gene and protein levels of angiogenic growth factors increased in LTP-treated human keratinocytes without associated cell toxicity. LTP treatment also significantly induced the expression of hypoxia inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α), an upstream regulator of angiogenesis. Further, the inhibition of HIF-1α expression blocked the production of angiogenic growth factors induced by LTP in human keratinocytes.


Our results suggest that LTP treatment is an effective approach to modulate wound healing-related molecules in epidermal keratinocytes and might promote angiogenesis, leading to improved wound healing.


Low temperature plasma Keratinocyte Cytokine Growth factor Wound healing 



This research was supported by the Hallym University Research Fund and Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education (NRF-2017R1D1A1A02018478, 2017R1D1A1B03029731).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical statement

The study protocol was approved by Institutional Review Board of Hallym University Hangang Sacred Heart Hospital (2018-018). This study was performed in accordance with the ethical standards laid down in the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments.


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Copyright information

© The Korean Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Society 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Hangang Sacred Heart Hospital, Burn Institute, College of MedicineHallym UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Hangang Sacred Heart Hospital, College of MedicineHallym UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.Division of Rheumatology, Department of Internal MedicineYonsei University College of MedicineSeoulRepublic of Korea
  4. 4.Department of Pediatrics, Hangang Sacred Heart HospitalHallym UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea

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