CEE Seminar Engineering Devices for Treatment and Understanding of Chronic Wound Disinfection and Healing

Apr 5

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Friday, April 5, 2024 – 12:00PM to 1:00PM


Shaurya Prakash, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, The Ohio State University

Chronic, non-healing wounds affect over 6 million Americans. Chronic wounds are often associated with bacterial and biofilm infections and have significantly impaired healing, accounting for an estimated $25 billion annual burden on the US healthcare system. In wound infections, biofilms are bacterial communities encased in an extracellular polymeric substance (EPS) adherent to biotic or abiotic surfaces. Treatment of biofilms is challenging based on their recalcitrant behavior towards antimicrobials and host-defenses due to the multi-factorial evasion strategies. Our team has developed a silk-based, printed, flexible electroceutical dressing that not only disinfects wounds by killing bacterial biofilms but also has shown evidence for healing chronic injuries in animal models. Additionally, our electroceutical dressing inhibits formation of biofilms in laboratory-scale gel models. Moreover, our electroceutical, Smart Platform for Engineered Electroceutical Dressings (SPEEDs), works with a disposable battery pack to provide a constant potential power source for direct current (DC) flow making it suitable for a small-form factor, light-weight, and portable system. SPEEDs have also been integrated with impedance sensing to remotely monitor wound state. We have evaluated SPEEDs extensively, both in vitro and in vivo. In vitro evaluation shows bacterial biofilms grown on agar gel (Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus) were killed with a 24-hour continuous treatment with SPEEDs. The SPEEDs were also found to be effective in eliminating antibiotic tolerant bacteria. In vivo, SPEEDs were used to treat chronic, infected wounds in a cat and a dog that remained open with antibiotic resistant bacteria. In mechanistic mouse studies with dermal injury and infection, SPEEDs was the most effective in reducing both wound infection and wound area (> 60% reduction in wound area over 8-days of treatment), and observed re-epithelialization of the wounds (> 20% in 8-days) in contrast to untreated (natural infection management and healing) controls.