Surface Acoustic Waves Enhance Neutrophil Killing of Bacteria

Loike, John D.; Plitt, Anna; Kothari, Komal; Zumeris, Jona; Budhu, Sadna; Kavalus, Kaitlyn; Ray, Yonatan; Jacob, Harold

Biofilms are structured communities of bacteria that play a major role in the pathogenicity of bacteria and are the leading cause of antibiotic resistant bacterial infections on indwelling catheters and medical prosthetic devices. Failure to resolve these biofilm infections may necessitate the surgical removal of the prosthetic device which can be debilitating and costly. Recent studies have shown that application of surface acoustic waves to catheter surfaces can reduce the incidence of infections by a mechanism that has not yet been clarified. We report here the effects of surface acoustic waves (SAW) on the capacity of human neutrophils to eradicate S. epidermidis bacteria in a planktonic state and within biofilms. Utilizing a novel fibrin gel system that mimics a tissue-like environment, we show that SAW, at an intensity of 0.3 mW/cm², significantly enhances human neutrophil killing of S. epidermidis in a planktonic state and within biofilms by enhancing human neutrophil chemotaxis in response to chemoattractants. In addition, we show that the integrin CD18 plays a significant role in the killing enhancement observed in applying SAW. We propose from out data that this integrin may serve as mechanoreceptor for surface acoustic waves enhancing neutrophil chemotaxis and killing of bacteria.


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Academic Units
Physiology and Cellular Biophysics
Published Here
May 7, 2014