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Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 2013 Apr;90:98-102. doi: 10.1016/j.ecoenv.2012.12.017. Epub 2013 Jan 18.

Application of electrolysis to inactivation of antibacterials in clinical use.

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  • 1Project Team for Medical Application of Electrolysis (Nakano Project), Central Research Center, Osaka Medical College, Takatsuki-shi, Osaka, Japan.


Contamination of surface water by antibacterial pharmaceuticals (antibacterials) from clinical settings may affect aquatic organisms, plants growth, and environmental floral bacteria. One of the methods to decrease the contamination is inactivation of antibacterials before being discharged to the sewage system. Recently, we reported the novel method based on electrolysis for detoxifying wastewater containing antineoplastics. In the present study, to clarify whether the electrolysis method is applicable to the inactivation of antibacterials, we electrolyzed solutions of 10 groups of individual antibacterials including amikacin sulfate (AMK) and a mixture (MIX) of some commercial antibacterials commonly prescribed at hospitals, and measured their antibacterial activities. AMK was inactivated in its antibacterial activities and its concentration decreased by electrolysis in a time-dependent manner. Eighty to ninety-nine percent of almost all antibacterials and MIX were inactivated within 6h of electrolysis. Additionally, cytotoxicity was not detected in any of the electrolyzed solutions of antibacterials and MIX by the Molt-4-based cytotoxicity test.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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