Honors Capstone Project
Date of Submission
Dr. Dacheng Ren
Dr. Jeremy Gilbert
Biomedical and Chemical Engineering
Engineering and Computer Science
Capstone Prize Winner
Won Capstone Funding
Sciences and Engineering
Biological Engineering | Biology | Biomedical Engineering and Bioengineering
Bacterial persister cells present a growing concern as they inherit the ability to tolerate high concentrations of antibiotics and repopulate after an antibiotic treatment leading to chronic diseases. Pseudomonas aeruginosa causes many human infections including skin infections and those associated with burn injuries, and implanted medical devices, and are associated with Cystic Fibrosis. Recently, the Ren Lab developed a novel approach to eliminate persister cells of P. aeruginosa, including those in biofilms, using low level electric currents. To evaluate the safety of this method and to better understand how the underlying elements, this study focused on the cytotoxicity of treatments with low level DCs to different human cell lines, effects on P. aeruginosa in co-culture with human cells, and protein expression of P. aeruginosa in response to DC treatments. Four human cell lines, Lung Cancer 5803, Lung Cancer 5908, Breast Cancer 231, and Fibroblast cells, were tested for cytotoxicity during DC treatment. Treatment with 70 μA/cm2 DC with 4.0 μg/mL tobramycin led to a two-log killing of P. aeruginosa and 90%+ survival of mammalian cells. Consistently, the proteomic revealed the stress response in P. aerigunosa was induced by DC treatment. These findings provide new in insight in bacterial control with DCs which will help further development of this technology.
Peterson, Henry Lars, "Controlling bacterial persister cells with low level electric currents" (2013). Honors Capstone Projects - All. 67.
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