The US Food and Drug Administration has approved clinical trials of "electrified dressings" on patients with minor burns and other skin injuries. The goal is to test the effectiveness of a new technique for disinfecting such wounds using a self-sustaining electric field. It should be a new weapon against antibiotic-resistant superbugs.
Up to 80% of all bacterial infections are caused by the formation of biofilm in the wound - a sticky substance made up of many different microbes that envelops the damaged area. The film is difficult to destroy completely physically, and with the appearance of superbugs, it became useless to attack individual agents in its composition. Therefore, the new method is aimed at preventing the formation of the structure itself - while the mass is viscous and unstable, it is subjected to constant electrical impact.
The difference between the new "electrified bandages" and the old "electric bandages" is that they do not depend on external energy sources. The design of the dressing generates a 1 V field through electrochemical reactions involving fluids in the wound. Therefore, the dressing is activated only when some mucus from bacteria has accumulated there. As long as there is microbial activity in the wound, the dressing will pass a weak current through it, which prevents the formation of a film, kills and "cripples" individual bacteria.
The main advantage of this technique sounds quite natural - it is unlikely that bacteria will be able to develop immunity to the effects of electricity, create protection against electric shock. We have to admit that the era of antibiotics, this "living weapon", has come to an end. And the further fight against the pathogenic microenvironment must be carried out by other methods.