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Eradication of Multidrug-Resistant Pseudomonas Biofilm from Prolene Mesh with Pulsed Electric Fields
Saiqa Khan1; Daniela Vecchio2; Gaddi Blumrosen3; Alexander Golberg;, Harry Salinas1; Michael McCormack1; Martin Yarmush4; Michael R. Hamblin2; William G. Austen, Jr.
1Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA; 2Center for Engineering in Medicine, Department of Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and the Shriners Burns Hospital, Boston, MA; 3Department of Computer Science, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel; 4 Wellman Center for Photomedicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA

Background: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of Pulsed Electric Fields (PEF) on infected mesh. We propose PEF as a novel method to eradicate bacteria from infected mesh.

Methods: Prolene mesh was infected with bioluminescent pathogenic Pseudomonas. Biofilm formation was confirmed with SEM. PEF were delivered using a cylindrical system (Fig1). A bioluminescent imaging system was used before and after treatment.

Results: Prior to treatment, the Relative Luminescence Units (RLU) of Pseudomonas-infected mesh was 5,684,912. After treatment, the RLU decreased to 1,427,144, resulting in a 75% reduction over the entire piece of mesh with central clearing where the needle was in contact with the mesh (Fig1). The goal of this experimental design was to obtain central clearing of the mesh since the PEF apparatus delivers a centripetal gradient of disinfection from the center outwards to the periphery. Eradication of the biofilm at the treatment site was confirmed with SEM (Fig2).

Conclusion: We have demonstrated a novel method for successful biofilm eradication without damaging mesh. We hypothesize that in the clinical setting, combining systemic antibacterial therapy with PEF will yield a synergistic effect leading to eradication of mesh infections.

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