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Biofouling. 2006;22(5-6):383-90.

Effects of localised, low-voltage pulsed electric fields on the development and inhibition of Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms.

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Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of Wisconsin - Madison, Madison, Wisconsin 53706, USA.


This work describes the use of low-voltage (0.5 - 5 V) pulsed electric fields to prevent Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm development. Interdigitated electrodes (IDEs) with 29-mum spacing between 22-mum-wide electrodes, were used as a platform where the effect of localised, high-strength electric fields could be tested. Alternating current, square-wave pulses were applied to the IDEs in 1 sec intervals. A two-level, three-variable factorial design experiment was used to detect the effects of applied voltage, frequency, and pulse duty ratio (i.e. percentage of pulsing time over one cycle) on the inhibition of biofilm formation. The observations indicated that a pulse configuration of 1% duty ratio, 5 V, and 200 Hz frequency reduced the area of the electrodes covered by biofilm by 50%. In general, the application of low-duty ratio pulses had a positive effect on preventing biofouling. Comparatively, frequency and applied voltage were observed to have less influence on biofouling.

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