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Atmospheric pressure plasma jets employing nitrogen, helium, or argon gases driven by low-frequency (several tens of kilohertz) ac voltage and pulsed dc voltage were fabricated and characterized. The changes in discharge current, optical emission intensities from reactive radicals, gas temperature, and plume length of plasma jets with the control parameters were measured and compared. The control parameters include applied voltage, working gas, and gas flow rate. As an application to plasma-cancer cell interactions, the effects of atmospheric pressure plasma jet on the morphology and intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) level of human lung adenocarcinoma cell (A549) and human bladder cancer cell (EJ) were explored. The experimental results show that the plasma can effectively control the intracellular concentrations of ROS. Although there exist slight differences in the production of ROS, helium, argon, or nitrogen plasma jets are found to be useful in enhancing the intracellular ROS concentrations in cancer cells.


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