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Laroussi Promotes Plasma Medicine on Capitol Hill

Laroussi Promotes Plasma Medicine on Capitol Hill

Mounir Laroussi, professor of electrical and computer engineering at Old Dominion University, shared his expertise in plasma medicine with a luncheon audience of 70 people on Capitol Hill Tuesday, Nov. 10.

He was invited to speak in the Rayburn House Office Building by the national Coalition for Plasma Science, which sponsored the seminar. Those attending included representatives of government agencies, private industry, and Congressional staffs who have interests in modern applications of the ionized gases known as plasmas.

Pictured with Laroussi (far right) are Gerald Rogoff, one of the nation's leading plasma physicists and a founder of the Coalition for Plasma Science, and Greg Konesky (middle), lead scientist for Bovie Medical Corp., a manufacturer of surgical equipment and tools.

Laroussi's contributions to the field include inventions to produce the so-called cold or low-temperature plasmas that can exist outside of vacuums in the regular atmosphere. His cold-plasma pencil, which has been described as a small light saber, is about the size of an electric toothbrush and emits a two-inch-long plasma plume. The device has been the subject of news reports in National Geographic magazine and on several national television programs.

One of the reasons the plume has generated so much interest is the potential use of cold plasma in biological and medical applications. Laroussi, a pioneer in plasma medicine, has demonstrated how his plume can kill germs but not harm healthy human tissue, which makes it useful in promoting wound healing. The plume also can sterilize medical instruments and other surfaces.

This highlight was posted on: November 11, 2009

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