The use of prosthetic implants is increasing both in the United States and around the world and there is a concomitant rise in cases of biofilm-based, persistent infections that are quite serious and virtually impervious to antibiotic treatment. The development of alternate therapies that do not involve long term use of high levels of antibiotics or surgical intervention is needed. Based on the success of using electric or magnetic fields to alter certain physiological processes, it is hypothesized that relatively low level magnetic fields, in conjunction with the appropriate antibiotic, may be able to help control and eventually clear bacterial biofilms on a prosthetic. In order to test this hypothesis, it is necessary to first develop a means of growing laboratory grade biofilms on specific materials in a way that is repeatable between experiments and that can be reproduced by other laboratories. Secondly, a means of applying controlled magnetic fields to the surfaces supporting the biofilms at a defined temperature must be developed. This article addresses both of these points.
(c) 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.