Plasma medicine has been claimed to provide a novel route to heal wounds and regenerate skin, although very little is currently known about the elementary processes taking place. We carried out a series of ReaxFF-based reactive molecular dynamics simulations to investigate the interaction of O and OH radicals with lipids, more specifically with α-linolenic acid as a model for the free fatty acids present in the upper skin layer. Our calculations predict that the O and OH radicals most typically abstract a H atom from the fatty acids, which can lead to the formation of a conjugated double bond, but also to the incorporation of alcohol or aldehyde groups, thereby increasing the hydrophilic character of the fatty acids and changing the general lipid composition of the skin. Within the limitations of the investigated model, no formation of possibly toxic products was observed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Acoustics and Ultrasonics
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films