Antibiofilm activity of electrical current in a catheter model

Paul Voegele, Jon Badiola, Suzannah M. Schmidt-Malan, Melissa J. Karau, Kerryl E. Greenwood-Quaintance, Jayawant N. Mandrekar, Robin Patel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Catheter-associated infections are difficult to treat with available antimicrobial agents because of their biofilm etiology. We examined the effect of low-amperage direct electrical current (DC) exposure on established bacterial and fungal biofilms in a novel experimental in vitro catheter model. Staphylococcus epidermidis, Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Candida parapsilosis biofilms were grown on the inside surfaces of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) catheters, after which 0, 100, 200, or 500 μA of DC was delivered via intraluminally placed platinum electrodes. Catheter biofilms and intraluminal fluid were quantitatively cultured after 24 h and 4 days of DC exposure. Time- and dose-dependent biofilm killing was observed with all amperages and durations of DC administration. Twenty-four hours of 500 μA of DC sterilized the intraluminal fluid for all bacterial species studied; no viable bacteria were detected after treatment of S. epidermidis and S. aureus biofilms with 500 μA of DC for 4 days.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1476-1480
Number of pages5
JournalAntimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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