Flux Health Forum

Electrical fields to break down bacterial biofilms study

Thought you guys would be interested in this article and study.

It’s not PEMF, but it’s about electrical fields in general.

"The new research proposes yet another novel biofilm-busting method: electricity. The study suggests a weak electric field can prevent bacteria from aggregating into biofilms, and break down a bacterial biofilm if it is already present on a wound. To do this, the researchers developed what they call a wireless electroceutical dressing (WED).

The dressing can self-generate one volt of electricity using an electrochemical reaction that is triggered when it comes into contact with body fluids in a wound. The electrical field is reportedly harmless to a patient but significant enough to break down a bacterial biofilm, and prevent it from reforming."


This study was designed to employ electroceutical principles, as an alternative to pharmacological intervention, to manage wound biofilm infection. Mechanism of action of a United States Food and Drug Administration-cleared wireless electroceutical dressing (WED) was tested in an established porcine chronic wound polymicrobial biofilm infection model involving inoculation with Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 and Acinetobacter baumannii 19606.
Bacterial biofilms represent a major wound complication. Resistance of biofilm toward pharmacologic interventions calls for alternative therapeutic strategies. Weak electric field has anti-biofilm properties. We have previously reported the development of WED involving patterned deposition of Ag and Zn on fabric. When moistened, WED generates a weak electric field without any external power supply and can be used as any other disposable dressing.
WED dressing was applied within 2 hours of wound infection to test its ability to prevent biofilm formation. Alternatively, WED was applied after 7 days of infection to study disruption of established biofilm. Wounds were treated with placebo dressing or WED twice a week for 56 days.
Scanning electron microscopy demonstrated that WED prevented and disrupted wound biofilm aggregates. WED accelerated functional wound closure by restoring skin barrier function. WED blunted biofilm-induced expression of (1) P. aeruginosa quorum sensing mvfR (pqsR), rhlR and lasR genes, and (2) miR-9 and silencing of E-cadherin. E-cadherin is critically required for skin barrier function. Furthermore, WED rescued against biofilm-induced persistent inflammation by circumventing nuclear factor kappa B activation and its downstream cytokine responses.
This is the first pre-clinical porcine mechanistic study to recognize the potential of electroceuticals as an effective platform technology to combat wound biofilm infection.


Thanks, Lars!

Yes, that is so cool!

I remember reading about breaking up biofilms when my contractor had a knee implant infection, which wouldn’t clear up. They told him that if they couldn’t get rid of it, he would have to get a peg leg, which someone else around here had to get and that person said that it made their leg worthless.

Breaking up the biofilm was the answer. He didn’t need to get a peg leg.

Another way of breaking up biofilm were enzymes like Serrapeptase.

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One other thing you should look into if you are into breaking biofilms is Xylitol.

There are studies about it, and there’s also a nasal product called something like Xclear that people use to get MRSA out of their noses.

It’s not uncommon for people to have MRSA in their nose when they might not even have symptoms, and then they can spread it over and over. If you’re ever in the hospital, sometimes they’ll swab your nose to check for MRSA. They check all patients to make sure they are keeping the hospital MRSA free.

That’s pretty interesting, thanks. The electrochemistry behind this is extremely simple: it works just like a battery - 2 different metals and an electrolyte solution, like making a battery from coins and a lemon.

And the field strength is about right for a battery cell, ~ 1 volt.

You would expect to get the same effect using a battery and something conductive in contact with the battery terminals and the wound. A single AA or AAA alkaline battery would give you 1.5 volts.

The bandage should always produce an electric field as long as it remains wet and some of the metal is left.

But this is also an excellent example of how sloooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooly the medical device technology approval process moves.

The science to make this work has been around for about 220 years:

I know that people have been working on things like this since I was in graduate school, and probably long before that.

Makes you wonder why this is not well-established, decades-old technology.

Good find Lars.


Wow, thanks for the history lesson.

The fact that people are getting peg legs and dying and this still isn’t medically approved drives me crazy.

When my step-mother had her stroke, I went back to watch, “The Brain That Changes Itself” to see what date it was because her stroke was in her balance center and she was having the exact same problems as the woman in that documentary and it was 30 years ago or something like that and their device never did get approved and they aren’t using anything like it. I think they sold some in places like Canada, but they moved off of even trying to get it approved and went onto the BrainPort for blind people.

It breaks my heart.

The fact that the woman in the documentary got her balance back in a few weeks and my step-mother might never get hers back is frustrating.

She has had small improvements, but lost things like being able to drive or be independent. She can’t be alone now and was someone who never sat still.

If she didn’t have a brain stent, I honestly would be pushing harder about trying the ICES because it is helping me so much.

She doesn’t like rehab all that well and stopped qualifying to have it paid for. I tried to get her excited about plasticity, but I think it genuinely is harder to get people excited after regular rehab fails.

It is very sad. I see this all the time as a consultant for medical device companies: a great Idea that would really help people gets killed because of some stupid reason. It is a major tragedy.

I watched the PBS show Breakthrough tonight, which was on the technology needed to invent the Smart phone and I laughed because they were showing a diagram of induction. They didn’t mention Faraday. They spoke about someone else and I think they quoted Hearst as saying that it is likely that nobody would ever figure out a way to use it or something like that.

The whole show was more interesting because of how much of it was about magnetism, from Morse Code onto induction and onto wireless communications.

It was interesting looking at the science.

I feel like I “got” what induction was.


Wanted to interject - the tongue stimulator device (which can help with balance disorders) mentioned in one of the Norman Doige books was licensed and approved for use in Canada.

+1 for Xlear Nasal Spray.

We use Xlear nasal spray in our household and it is terrific.

You reminded me of mentions on spaceweather.com about ‘ground current’s(’). Search down these couple pages for that:

Which also reminds me of the Carrington Event (see wikipedia) and work since then on patterns of it. Clearly transient EM fields, even strong ones, don’t break or kill us all off out of the blue. But technology would have a problem.

Just to throw it out there there’s also the affect of cosmic rays: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AaZ_RSt0KP8