Ruhr-Universität Bochum

11/15/2023 | News release | Distributed by Public on 11/15/2023 02:49

Plasma Technology in the Bathroom

Interview with the researcher

Plasma Technology in the Bathroom

Blemishes and skin irritations are a problem many people are familiar with. Plasma technology has a solution. One start-up is already getting off the ground.

Friederike Kogelheide is convinced of the beneficial properties of cold plasma. As a plasma technician, she has spent years researching it. Now, she intends to make the technology accessible to many people. In 2022, Kogelheide therefore founded the start-up Glim Skin. In our interview, the researcher talks about her path to self-employment.

Dr. Kogelheide, what gave you the idea to found Glim Skin?
To some extent, I still consider university to be an ivory tower. Research results rarely find their way into society. While working on my PhD, I felt that this understanding of the beneficial effects of cold plasma must somehow reach the outside world. I started asking myself how we could make our findings available to society in a way that was accessible to everyone. How can we make it part of everyone's everyday life - without spending huge sums of money and waiting for a medical product to be approved?

Friederike Kogelheide completed her doctorate at the Chair of Applied Electrodynamics and Plasma Technology before setting up Glim Skin.
© Roberto Schirdewahn

What is the product behind Glim Skin?
We are all familiar with problems such as acne and irritated skin. Glim Skin uses the properties of cold plasma to specifically treat inflammatory skin irritations and promote a healthy complexion. Glim Skin is a technology-based cosmetic product designed to combat cosmetic skin conditions.

How does Glim Skin work?
Glim Skin has an antimicrobial effect, which means that it effectively fights bacteria, viruses and fungi to keep the skin healthy and clear. It also relieves inflammation. A reduction in germs can be observed immediately after application. As we proved in the lab, the UV light and the ozone generated help to kill the microorganisms that promote inflammation. A temporary reduction in the pH value of the skin also creates an environment that is unfriendly to bacteria, which means that any remaining bacteria can't multiply as quickly.

Glim Skin makes use of the antimicrobial effect of cold plasma.
© Roberto Schirdewahn

We don't damage the body cells in the process. In fact, the plasma even increases blood circulation, stimulates cell renewal and, as a result, supplies the skin with nutrients. Unlike many products that treat acne and inflammatory skin irritations, our plasma technology is free of chemicals and environmentally friendly.

Glim Skin is based on your research findings in the lab. What was the product development process like?
Our aim was to miniaturize the laboratory setup to about the size of an electric toothbrush. I developed the housing together with a design office according to my specifications. For the electronics, I drew on my experience from my doctorate and I also asked a colleague, a
qualified electronics engineer, for help. Together, we reduced the size of the electronic components so that they fit into the planned housing and can now be operated using a rechargeable battery.

I then carried out repeated measurements to see what intensity and dose was recommended. The product is based on the results of the experiments we carried out with spores in the lab.

When will you launch the product in the market?
Thanks to the start-up grant from the Worldfactory Start-up Center, we have now made the product ready for series production. The electronics and design are finished. We currently have to prepare for production. This means I'm currently working with supply chains, with injection molding manufacturers from the plastics industry, with housing and electronics manufacturers. Just this week, I brought together two companies from the toolmaking and system integration sectors to enable regional production. Whats's important to me is that our product is produced in Germany. To be allowed to sell a product on the European market, it also needs a CE marking. The TÜV is currently verifying the safe usability of our device and the DermaTest institute will test our device dermatologically in an independent study with volunteers.

I'm confident that we will be able to sell the first product in early 2024.

Promising Applications in Medicine

Cold plasma has an antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effect. This has been demonstrated in studies at Ruhr University Bochum. Promising applications in medicine and cosmetics are now emerging. You can find a detailed article on this research in the science magazine Rubin.