A Highly Efficacious Electrical Biofilm Treatment System for Combating Chronic Wound Bacterial Infections

Fan Zhao, Yajuan Su, Junying Wang, Svetlana Romanova, Dominick J. DiMaio, Jingwei Xie, Siwei Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Biofilm infection has a high prevalence in chronic wounds and can delay wound healing. Current treatment using debridement and antibiotic administration imposes a significant burden on patients and healthcare systems. To address their limitations, a highly efficacious electrical antibiofilm treatment system is described in this paper. This system uses high-intensity current (75 mA cm−2) to completely debride biofilm above the wound surface and enhance antibiotic delivery into biofilm-infected wounds simultaneously. Combining these two effects, this system uses short treatments (≤2 h) to reduce bacterial count of methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) biofilm-infected ex vivo skin wounds from 1010 to 105.2 colony-forming units (CFU) g−1. Taking advantage of the hydrogel ionic circuit design, this system enhances the in vivo safety of high-intensity current application compared to conventional devices. The in vivo antibiofilm efficacy of the system is tested using a diabetic mouse-based wound infection model. MRSA biofilm bacterial count decreases from 109.0 to 104.6 CFU g−1 at 1 day post-treatment and to 103.3 CFU g−1 at 7 days post-treatment, both of which are below the clinical threshold for infection. Overall, this novel technology provides a quick, safe, yet highly efficacious treatment to chronic wound biofilm infections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2208069
JournalAdvanced Materials
Issue number6
StatePublished - Feb 9 2023


  • biofilm
  • chronic wound infection
  • electrical debridement
  • hydrogel ionic circuit
  • iontophoretic antibiotic delivery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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