Evaluation of Skin Tissue Effects of Two-Pass Helium Plasma Treatment in Comparison to Nitrogen Plasma Using a Swine Model


Journal Article


Paul G Ruff IV, MD


Background: Helium plasma is a new technology for dermal resurfacing.

Objectives: To compare the depth of thermal effect produced by a two-pass skin treatment protocol for a helium plasma system in comparison to nitrogen plasma.

Methods: A 6-month-old domestic pig was anesthetized, intubated, and ventilated. Thirty-six 1.5 cm x 1.5 cm square treatment sites were drawn on both shaved flanks. Energy was applied to each flank using helium and nitrogen plasma systems. Helium treatment was delivered as linear/non-overlapping strokes in single and double passes at 1 cm/sec treatment speed. Helium plasma device settings were 20% Power (energy density 8.6 J/cm2) and 40% power (energy density 17.8 J/cm2) with 4 lpm of helium flow. Nitrogen treatment was delivered in consecutive pulses using the PSR3 treatment protocol (4.0 J, 2.5 Hz pulse rate and energy density 14.1 J/cm2). Histology assessments of thermal injury were made from harvested tissue samples.

Results: The shallowest depth of thermal effect was 0.25±0.07mm obtained using the helium plasma at 20% energy setting and a single pass. The deepest thermal effect was 0.72±0.07mm obtained using the helium plasma at 40% energy setting with two passes. The maximum depth of thermal effect associated with the nitrogen plasma was 0.60±0.07mm and equivalent to helium plasma using 20% and 40% power with two passes.

Conclusions: There are no significant differences in the depth of thermal effect associated with a two-pass treatment protocol for the helium-based plasma system when compared to PSR3 treatment with a nitrogen-based plasma skin resurfacing system.


The authors declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and publication of this article. No funding was received for this article. Drs DiBernardo, Bharti, and Kortesis are paid consultants for Apyx Medical, and Dr Duncan is a member of Apyx Medical’s Medical Advisory Board. The opinions contained herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of Apyx Medical, Inc.

Apyx Medical manufactures and owns the Renuvion®/J-Plasma® technology discussed in this article.


    • Renuvion Dermal Handpiece is indicated for dermatological procedures for the treatment of moderate to severe wrinkles and rhytides, limited to patients with Fitzpatrick skin types I, II, or III.
    • Apyx Medical wants to present to you with current scientific discourse. Specific usage outside of the cleared indications may not be safe or effective.


    • Risks associated with the use of the Renuvion Dermal System include but are not limited to hypertrophic scarring, milia/acne, telangiectasia (spider veins), skin discoloration/ hypopigmentation, dormant infection reactivation, infection, bruising or bleeding. Warning: Application of more than one treatment pass in the perioral area, on the forehead, and along the jawline has been associated with hypertrophic scarring.

As with any procedure, individual results may vary. As with all energy devices there are inherent risks associated with its use, refer to the IFU for further information.

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