Experimental & molecular medicine

Harmless effects of argon plasma on caudal fin regeneration and embryogenesis of zebrafish: novel biological approaches for safe medical applications of bioplasma.

PMID 28706297


The argon plasma jet (Ar-PJ) is widely used in medical fields such as dermatology and dentistry, and it is considered a promising tool for cancer therapy. However, the in vivo effects of Ar-PJ for medical uses have not yet been investigated, and there are no biological tools to determine the appropriate clinical dosages of Ar-PJ. In this study, we used the caudal fin and embryo of zebrafish as novel in vivo tools to evaluate the biosafety of Ar-PJ. Typically, Ar-PJ is known to induce cell death in two-dimensional (2D) cell culture systems. By contrast, no detrimental effects of Ar-PJ were shown in our 3D zebrafish systems composed of 2D cells. The Ar-PJ-treated caudal fins grew by an average length of 0.7 mm, similar to the length of the normally regenerating fins. Remarkably, Ar-PJ did not affect the expression patterns of Wnt8a and β-Catenin, which play important roles in fin regeneration. In the embryo system, 85% of the Ar-PJ-treated embryos hatched, and the lateral length of these embryos was ~3.3 mm, which are equivalent to the lengths of normal embryos. In particular, vasculogenesis, which is the main cellular process during tissue regeneration and embryogenesis, occurred normally under the Ar-PJ dose used in this study. Therefore, our biosafety evaluation tools that use living model systems can be used to provide an experimental guideline to determine the clinically safe dosage of Ar-PJ.