Degree Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-1-2013

Capstone Advisor

Dr. Dacheng Ren

Honors Reader

Dr. Jeremy Gilbert

Capstone Major

Biomedical and Chemical Engineering

Capstone College

Engineering and Computer Science

Audio/Visual Component


Capstone Prize Winner


Won Capstone Funding


Honors Categories

Sciences and Engineering

Subject Categories

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.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.



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