(319b) In situ Thermal Eradication of Biofilms | AIChE

(319b) In situ Thermal Eradication of Biofilms


Nuxoll, E. - Presenter, University of Iowa
Bacterial biofilms colonize 2 - 4% of the medical devices implanted in the U.S. each year despite rigorous efforts to maintain sterile operating conditions and extensive research into bacteria-resistant biomaterials. These biofilms are notoriously difficult to treat, requiring explantation of the implant and surrounding tissue, followed by eventual replacement of the device, at a cost of billions of dollars per year. Current strategies to develop biomaterials which prevent bacterial adhesion and colonization have inherent limitations which have prevented translation into devices with lower infection rates. We are pursuing a new approach to dealing with these infections, thermally eradicating them in situ using an alternating magnetic field. This requires multiple intersecting lines of investigation, from materials development to cell death kinetics to thermal modeling, each relying substantially on chemical engineering principles. This talk will discuss the thermal dose required for biofilm eradication, the energy requirements to supply that dose and the physiological consequences of that energy, and the design of coatings which are capable of delivering that dose from a given magnetic field source, as well as development of new tools to tackle these problems, such as pourable, size-stable thermal tissue phantoms.