On Self Organization: Model for ionization wave propagation with targets of varying electrical properties
Abstract This work presents a model for an atmospheric Helium plasma interacting with normal and cancer cells. This interaction is simulated through the expansion and impingement of a gaseous jet onto targets with varying electrical permittivity. Simulation results show that for a plasma jet impinging onto two targets with different permittivity placed axis-symmetrically relative to the stagnation point of impingement, the jet is biased toward the target with lower permittivity when the target acts as a floating potential. This trend is reversed when the back surface of the target is grounded. In the case of a floating target, higher target permittivity yields a higher positive surface potential as the material experiences higher polarization in response to the net flux of electrons from the plasma onto the surface. Because of this higher surface potential, targets with higher permittivity generate a smaller electric field in the discharge column relative to materials with lower permittivity. When the back surface of the target is ground, the trend is reversed, with polarization occurring primarily on the back surface due to the response to the reservoir of positive charges introduced by ground. In the ground case, the material experiences more negative charging the front surface which induces a lower electric potential. As a result, the material with higher permittivity and a grounded back surface attracts plasma organization at the interface because of the higher local electric field. These numerical findings support experimental results presented by other researchers, which demonstrate selectivity of plasma jets towards some cancer cells more than others. The mechanism introduced here may help inform targeted treatment of specific cells, including those reported to be more resistant to plasma jets.