Non-thermal atmospheric pressure plasmas have been applied in the biomedical field for the improvement of various cellular activities. In dentistry, the healing of gingival soft tissue plays an important role in health and aesthetic outcomes. While the biomedical application of plasma has been thoroughly studied in dentistry, a detailed investigation of plasma-mediated human gingival fibroblast (HGF) migration for wound healing and its underlying biological mechanism is still pending. Therefore, the aim of this study is to apply a non-thermal air atmospheric pressure plasma jet (NTAAPPJ) to HGF to measure the migration and to reveal the underlying biological mechanisms involved in the migration. After the characterization of NTAAPPJ by optical emission spectroscopy, the adherent HGF was treated with NTAAPPJ or air with a different flow rate. Cell viability, lipid peroxidation, migration, intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS), and the expression of migration-related genes (EGFR, PAK1, and MAPK3) were investigated. The level of statistical significance was set at 0.05. NTAAPPJ and air treatment with a flow rate of 250-1000 standard cubic centimetres per minute (sccm) for up to 30 s did not induce significant decreases in cell viability or membrane damage. A significant increase in the migration of mitomycin C-treated HGF was observed after 30 s of NTAAPPJ treatment compared to 30 s air-only treatment, which was induced by high levels of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS). An increase in migration-related gene expression and EGFR activation was observed following NTAAPPJ treatment in an air flow rate-dependent manner. This is the first report that NTAAPPJ treatment induces an increase in HGF migration without changing cell viability or causing membrane damage. HGF migration was related to an increase in intracellular ROS, changes in the expression of three of the migration-related genes (EGFR, PAK1, and MAPK1), and EGFR activation. Therefore, NTAAPPJ for gingival tissue healing is a promising method for health and aesthetic outcomes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Acoustics and Ultrasonics
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films