Electric field-based dressing fights bacterial infections

Amid growing antibiotic resistance, Indian-origin researchers have developed a way to charge up the fight against bacterial infections using electricity.

The electric field-based dressing can not only disrupt biofilm infection, it can also prevent such infections from forming in the future, said the study published in the journal Annals of Surgery.

Bacterial biofilms are thin, slimy films of bacteria that form on some wounds, including burns or post-surgical infections, as well as after a medical device is placed in the body.

These bacteria generate their own electricity, using their own electric fields to communicate and form the biofilm, which makes them more hostile and difficult to treat.

The dressing electrochemically self-generates 1 volt of electricity upon contact with body fluids such as wound fluid or blood, which is not enough to hurt or electrocute the patient, said the study.

Work conducted at the Indiana University School of Medicine by Chandan Sen and and Sashwati Roy led to the development of the dressing, Indiana University said in a statement on Friday.

They discovered the dressing is not only successful in fighting the bacteria on its own, but when combined with other medications can make them even more effective.

The researchers believe that the discovery has the potential to create significant changes in the way physicians treat patients with bacterial infections which are resistant to antibiotics.

'This shows for the first time that bacterial biofilm can be disrupted by using an electroceutical dressing,' said Chandan Sen, Director of the Indiana Center for Regenerative Medicine and Engineering.

'This has implications across surgery as biofilm presence can lead to many complications in successful surgical outcomes,' Sen added.

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