Application of sub-micrometer vibrations to mitigate bacterial adhesion.
As a prominent concern regarding implantable devices, eliminating the threat of opportunistic bacterial infection represents a significant benefit to both patient health and device function. Current treatment options focus on chemical approaches to negate bacterial adhesion, however, these methods are in some ways limited. The scope of this study was to assess the efficacy of a novel means of modulating bacterial adhesion through the application of vibrations using magnetoelastic materials. Magnetoelastic materials possess unique magnetostrictive property that can convert a magnetic field stimulus into a mechanical deformation. In vitro experiments demonstrated that vibrational loads generated by the magnetoelastic materials significantly reduced the number of adherent bacteria on samples exposed to Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus epidermidis and Staphylococcus aureus suspensions. These experiments demonstrate that vibrational loads from magnetoelastic materials can be used as a post-deployment activated means to deter bacterial adhesion and device infection.