There is a pressing need to control the occurrences of nosocomial infections due to their detrimental effects on patient well-being and the rising treatment costs. To prevent the contact transmission of such infections via health-critical surfaces, a prophylactic surface system that consists of an interdigitated array of oppositely charged silver electrodes with polymer separations and utilizes oligodynamic iontophoresis has been recently developed. This paper presents a systematic study that empirically characterizes the effects of the surface system parameters on its antibacterial efficacy, and validates the system's effectiveness. In the first part of the study, a fractional factorial design of experiments (DOE) was conducted to identify the statistically significant system parameters. The data were used to develop a first-order response surface model to predict the system's antibacterial efficacy based on the input parameters. In the second part of the study, the effectiveness of the surface system was validated by evaluating it against four bacterial species responsible for several nosocomial infections - Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Enterococcus faecalis - alongside non-antibacterial polymer (acrylic) control surfaces. The system demonstrated statistically significant efficacy against all four bacteria. The results indicate that given a constant total effective surface area, the system designed with micro-scale features (minimum feature width: 20 μm) and activated by 15 μA direct current will provide the most effective antibacterial prophylaxis.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biomedical Engineering
- Molecular Biology