Noncontact, low-frequency ultrasound as an effective therapy against Pseudomonas aeruginosa-infected biofilm wounds

Akhil K. Seth, Khang T. Nguyen, Matthew R. Geringer, Seok J. Hong, Kai P. Leung, Thomas A. Mustoe, Robert D. Galiano*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Bacterial biofilms, a critical chronic wound mediator, remain difficult to treat. Energy-based devices may potentially improve healing, but with no evidence of efficacy against biofilms. This study evaluates noncontact, low-frequency ultrasound (NLFU) in the treatment of biofilm-infected wounds. Six-millimeter dermal punch wounds in rabbit ears were inoculated with 10 7 colony-forming units of Pseudomonas aeruginosa or left as sterile controls. A biofilm was established in vivo using our published model. NLFU treatment was carried out every other day or every day, with contralateral ear wounds acting as internal, untreated controls. Wounds were harvested for several quantitative endpoints and scanning electron microscopy to evaluate the biofilm structure. The P. aeruginosa biofilm consistently impaired wound epithelialization and granulation. NLFU, both every other day and every day, improved healing and reduced bacterial counts relative to untreated controls (p < 0.05). Scanning electron microscopy confirmed a qualitative decrease in bacteria after both treatments. NLFU also reduced inflammatory cytokine expression (p < 0.05). Our study suggests that NLFU is an effective therapy against P. aeruginosa wound biofilm. This represents the first in vivo evidence of energy-based modalities' impact on wound biofilm, setting the foundation for future mechanistic studies. Continued wound care technology research is essential to improving our understanding, and treatment, of biofilm-infected chronic wounds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)266-274
Number of pages9
JournalWound Repair and Regeneration
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Dermatology


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