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Researchers develop electric field-based dressing to treat wound infections

ANI | Updated: May 18, 2019 21:50 IST

Washington D.C [USA], May 18 (ANI): Bacterial infection, slimy and thin film of bacteria that forms on wounds, can be treated with the use of an electric field-based dressing, a study has claimed.
Researchers Chandan Sen and Sashwati Roy led the development of a dressing that uses an electric field to disrupt biofilm infection. The research was 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, such as a catheter, 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 study 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. Such textile may be considered for serving as hospital fabric - a major source of hospital-acquired infections," Sen added.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 65 per cent of all infections are caused by bacteria with this biofilm phenotype, while the National Institutes of Health estimates that number is closer to 80 per cent.
Researchers discovered that 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.
This discovery has the potential to create significant changes in the way physicians treat patients with bacterial infections which are resistant to antibiotics.
The dressing can also help prevent new biofilm infections from forming in the future. 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. (ANI)