Otitis media (OM), known as a middle ear infection, is the leading cause of antibiotic prescriptions for children. With wide-spread use of antibiotics in OM, resistance to antibiotics continues to decrease the efficacy of the treatment. Furthermore, as the presence of a middle ear biofilm has contributed to this reduced susceptibility to antimicrobials, effective interventions are necessary. A miniaturized 3D-printed microplasma jet array has been developed to inactivate Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a common bacterial strain associated with OM. The experiments demonstrate the disruption of planktonic and biofilm P. aeruginosa by long-lived molecular species generated by microplasma, as well as the synergy of combining microplasma treatment with antibiotic therapy. In addition, a middle ear phantom model was developed with an excised rat eardrum to investigate the antimicrobial effects of microplasma on bacteria located behind the eardrum, as in a patient-relevant setup. These results suggest the potential for microplasma as a new treatment paradigm for OM.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology