Orthopedic Implants

Case Studies supporting PEMF benefits for Orthopedic Implants

Electromagnetic augmentation of antibiotic efficacy in infection of orthopaedic implants

Abstract

Infection of orthopaedic implants is a significant problem, with increased antibiotic resistance of adherent ‘biofilm’ bacteria causing difficulties in treatment. We have investigated the in vitro effect of a pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) on the efficacy of antibiotics in the treatment of infection of implants. Five-day biofilms of Staphylococcus epidermidis were grown on the tips of stainless-steel pegs. They were exposed for 12 hours to varying concentrations of gentamicin or vancomycin in microtitre trays at 37°C and 5% CO2. The test group were exposed to a PEMF. The control tray was not exposed to a PEMF. After exposure to antibiotic the pegs were incubated overnight, before standard plating onto blood agar for colony counting. Exposure to a PEMF increased the effectiveness of gentamicin against the five-day biofilms of Staphylococcus epidermidis. In three of five experiments there was reduction of at least 50% in the minimum biofilm inhibitory concentration. In a fourth experiment there was a two-log difference in colony count at 160 mg/l of gentamicin. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) confirmed an effect by a PEMF on the efficacy of gentamicin which was significant at p < 0.05. There was no significant effect with vancomycin.

Case Study Reference Source:

  • 1. Electromagnetic augmentation of antibiotic efficacy in infection of orthopaedic implants
    (Authors: S. A. W. Pickering, R. Bayston, B. E. Scammell)