UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY) — Bacterial biofilms are thin and dense clusters of bacteria. In particular, they form on some wounds, including burns and postoperative sutures, as well as at the sites of catheter placement. The presence of biofilms leads to many postoperative complications.
Biofilm bacteria generate their own electricity , using their electric fields to communicate with each other. This, on the one hand, makes them very resistant to antibacterial treatment, and on the other hand, this fact prompted scientists how to defeat biofilms.
Researchers at Indiana University found that a weak electric field has anti- biofilm properties and were the first to study the practice of removing biofilms with “electric dressings”
A WED ( wireless electroceutical dressing) dressing with Ag and Zn applied to tissue generates 1 volt of electricity when in contact with body fluids such as wound or blood. Such a small voltage is absolutely safe for humans, but it kills bacterial biofilms.
WED dressings were tested on pigs for the prevention of biofilm formation in the wound (2 hours after injury) and the destruction of existing biofilms (7 days after injury). Wounds were treated with a placebo dressing or WED twice a week for 56 days. Antibiotics were not used.
Using scanning electron microscopy, it was shown that WED dressings were able to both prevent and destroy aggregates of wound bacteria. The use of WED provided functional closure of the wound , restored the barrier function of the skin, and also weakened biofilm-induced expression of inflammatory cytokine proteins.
According to scientists, this discovery can make significant changes in the practice of treating patients with bacterial infections that are resistant to antibiotics . Electric dressings can also prevent future biofilm infections. And now a team of researchers is studying the effectiveness of the device in patients recovering from burns.
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