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Ann Biomed Eng. 1997 Jan-Feb;25(1):69-76.

The effect of ultrasonic frequency upon enhanced killing of P. aeruginosa biofilms.

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Department of Chemical Engineering, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602, USA.


It is widely recognized that the bacteria sequestered in a biofilm on a medical implant are much more resistant to antibiotics than their planktonic counterparts. Recent studies have shown that application of antibiotic along with low power ultrasound significantly increases the killing of planktonic bacteria by the antibiotic. Herein is reported a similar application of antibiotic and ultrasound to sessile bacteria in biofilms of Pseudomonas aeruginosa on a polyethylene substrate. Biofilm viability was measured after exposure to 12 micrograms/ml gentamicin sulfate and 10 mW/cm2 ultrasound at frequencies of 70 kHz, 500 kHz, 2.25 MHz, and 10 MHz. The results indicate that a significantly greater fraction of the bacteria was killed by gentamicin when they were subjected to ultrasound. However, ultrasound by itself did not have any deleterious effect on the biofilm viability. In addition, lower-frequency insonation is significantly more effective than higher frequency in reducing bacterial viability within the biofilm. The possible mechanisms of synergistic action are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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