Electric bandages can prevent bacterial biofilm infections

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Biofilm infections

First time, researchers from Ohio State University designed electrical bandages can prevent bacterial biofilm infections, and battle against antibiotic resistance. The dressing active electrically upon contact with bodily fluids. Bacterial biofilm cells have high resistance in both antibiotics and host immune defenses.

“Drug resistance in bacteria is a major threat, and antibiotic-resistant biofilm infections estimate to account for at least 75% of bacterial infections in the United States,” said, Dr. Chandan Sen, director of Ohio State’s Center for Regenerative Medicine & Cell Based Therapies. This is the first study to recognize the possibility of ‘electroceuticals’ to fight against wound biofilm infection.

However, bacterial biofilms represent a major wound complication. Bacterial biofilm depends on electrostatic interactions, an important characteristic of biofilm formation.

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Wireless electroceutical dressing

While previous studies, Sen designed a wireless electroceutical dressing (WED) using silver and zinc to print on fabric. Without any external power supply, the WED generates a weak electric field and can use like any other disposable dressing.

“Wireless electric dressing is FDA-cleared and already in clinical use heightens the need to understand the underlying mechanisms to enable optimal use,” Sen said.

In studies, researchers applied WED dressing within two hours of wound infection on pigs to test its capacity for preventing bio-film formation. However, WED applied after seven days of infection to study the disturbance of biofilm.

Sen said, wounds treated with placebo dressing or WED twice a week for 56 days. Both proved successful. However, patients with burn injuries faces the risk of dehydration, along with bacteria and allergy substances entering the body and causing potential health complications.

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Source: Ohio State University

“Our study shows that WED may be viewed as a first generation electroceutical wound care dressing, and it also accelerated functional wound closure by restoring skin barrier function,” Sen said.

To test this technology, the researchers start a clinical trial on burn wounds in humans in the next month.

More information: [Annals of Surgery]