Electrochemical bandages could be an effective alternative to antibiotics for managing wound infections

Electronic bandages may be an effective alternative to antibiotics for managing wound infections, according to new research from researchers at the Mayo Clinic and Washington State University. The results are presented at ASM Microbe 2022, the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology.

In a recent study in mice, novel hydrogen peroxide-producing bandages with electrical/chemical properties (electrochemical bandages or e-bandages), under the control of wearable tension devices, reduced methicillin resistance. Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) biofilm bacteria present in the wound at 99% after 2 days of treatment.

In people with injuries, typical management includes cleansing the wound with various solutions, including hydrogen peroxide, applying antiseptic creams or ointments, and sometimes administering of antibiotics. If the wounds do not heal, they can progress to a chronic wound stage which can be particularly difficult to manage.

Research has shown that chronic wounds often harbor biofilms (communities of microorganisms living together that attach to surfaces). Bacteria in such biofilms can grow and resist the effects of antibiotic treatment, which is why they are difficult to treat even with prolonged antibiotic treatment. Prolonged use of antibiotics can lead to the selection of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The presence of biofilms in wounds also delays wound healing; biofilm-bearing wounds are common in older, diabetic, or immunocompromised patients.

Wound infections are common and can be difficult to treat. Thus, it is important to develop new strategies, technologies and treatment regimens that do not rely on antibiotics..”

Yash S. Raval, PhD, Study Lead Author and Principal Investigator, Division of Clinical Microbiology, Mayo Clinic in Rochester

A hydrogen peroxide solution is used to clean the wounds. Although hydrogen peroxide has antibacterial and healing properties, hydrogen peroxide solution is chemically unstable and therefore its effects are short-lived. Dr. Raval and his colleagues have developed electronic bandages to continuously produce hydrogen peroxide as a treatment for wound infections

“Specifically, we developed and examined the antibacterial properties of a new type of dressing that continuously produces hydrogen peroxide through the application of a specific negative voltage,” Dr. Raval said.

In the study, researchers created wounds on mice and infected them with MRSA to establish MRSA biofilms on the wounds. They then treated the infected wounds with the portable electronic bandaging system. Electronic bandages producing hydrogen peroxide reduced the population of bacterial biofilms by 99%.

ASM Microbe is the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology, held June 9-13, 2022 in Washington, DC

The American Society for Microbiology is one of the largest professional societies dedicated to the life sciences and is made up of 30,000 scientists and health practitioners. ASM’s mission is to promote and advance microbial science.

ASM advances microbial science through conferences, publications, certifications, educational opportunities, and advocacy efforts. It improves the capacity of laboratories around the world through training and resources. It provides a network for scientists in academia, industry and clinical settings. Additionally, ASM promotes a deeper understanding of microbial science among diverse audiences.


American Society for Microbiology

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