Evaluation of the effects of Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) Pulsed Electromagnetic Fields (PEMF) on survival of the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus
School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia
2 Department of Biotechnology and Environmental Biology, School of Applied Science, RMIT University, Bundoora, Australia
* e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 30 August 2013
Published online: 9 September 2013
This study investigated the effects of extremely low frequency (ELF) pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) radiation on the growth of bacterium Staphylococcus aureus (ATCC 25923) that plays a versatile role in infecting wounded tissues. The viability of these bacteria (number of live cells as colony-forming units (CFUs)) was measured before and after the ELF PEMF exposures to quantify their survival rate.
S. aureus cultures were first cultivated in an agar medium, and then picked and suspended in Columbia broth medium. Optical density reading for the suspended bacteria was measured at 600 nm and adjusted to a specific value of 0.1 ± .005A prior to experimentation and placement of bacteria into 2.5 mL centrifuge tubes. Sham-exposed tubes filled with bacteria were kept under the same experimental conditions and used as controls. The constructed exposure system, emitting uniform time varying magnetic fields (frequency of 2-500 Hz, and magnetic induction of 0.5-2.5 mT), was employed to irradiate S. aureus bacteria for 90 min. To determine the CFU per ml of the exposed bacteria, five serial dilutions were performed. A volume of 100 μl from the last tube was suspended onto agar plates by spread plating. After incubation, the colonies formed on the plates were visually counted.
All irradiated S. aureus bacteria showed decrease in their growth rate compared to control samples. The results demonstrated that ELF PEMF exposures at 150-500 Hz are more effective than exposures at 3-100 Hz in reducing the viability of S. aureus in broth. The lowest CFU value was achieved with the exposure at 300 Hz and 1.5 mT. The decrease of at least 20% in CFU value was obtained for frequencies above 200 Hz and all five studied magnetic flux densities (0.5 mT. 1.0 mT, 1.5 mT, 2.0 mT, and 2.5 mT).
In summary, the growth rate of the irradiated S. aureus bacteria is affected by radiation of particular parameters, thus revealing resonant effects induced by the applied radiation. The decreased CFU values in all irradiated samples compared to control samples (non-exposed) were observed. Findings provide important insight towards selecting the optimal parameters of ELF PEMF for possible treatment of infected tissue and thus, wound healing promotion.
Key words: ELF PEMF system / Staphylococcus aureus / Colony-forming units / Wound healing
© The Author(s), 2013