Purdue University Graduate School
Dissertation AR 7-19-2022.pdf (4.81 MB)


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posted on 2022-07-20, 14:23 authored by Alexander G RothAlexander G Roth


Infections of dermal wounds is a growing burden for the healthcare industry, with a 2017 market exceeding $17.5 USD. As the number of patients with severe infections continues to increase year after year, there is an alarming downward trend in efficacy for traditional antibiotic treatments. In large part, this is due to the increasing development of antibiotic resistance within common bacteria strains. As microbes evolve to protect themselves from previously effective drugs, there is a growing need for new antimicrobial therapies. While alternatives exist in the market, they are largely impaired by non-selective toxicity which can cause further damage to the cells in the wound bed, as is the case with silver and other strong antiseptics, or the need for high energy, specialized equipment, as with cold atmospheric surface treatments. Gaseous ozone is a promising alternative therapy for treating these wound infections. Because ozone is a strong natural oxidant, it exhibits significant antimicrobial properties, and has also been shown to help stimulate natural wound healing in many cases. Herein is presented the design of a portable system for the topical delivery of gaseous ozone as an antimicrobial treatment for infected dermal wounds. This includes the design and characterization of the portable system and a custom ozone application dressing, the characterization of the safety and efficacy of the system using in vitro and in vivo models, and a disposable system for wound infection monitoring. The system utilizes a portable corona discharge generator to produce gaseous ozone from the ambient environment. The ozone gas is delivered through a dressing engineered to have a hydrophobic interface at the wound bed and disperse the ozone gas across the patch surface for more uniform application. The antimicrobial strength and biocompatibility of the system was optimized at varying ozone output levels. Additionally, an adjunct therapy of topical antibiotics was shown to significantly increase the strength of the treatment without leading to greater cytotoxicity. This synergistic effect between ozone and antibiotics was shown to circumvent natural bacterial resistances to antibiotics, which will have a major impact on the wound care industry. This adjunct treatment was then validated on a porcine animal model for safety and pilot results for efficacy testing. Finally, the pH sensor which can be incorporated with use of the ozone therapy enables objective monitoring of wound condition and is able to signal when appropriate infection therapy should begin. As it stands, this portable ozone wound treatment system shows great promise as an alternative therapy to improve the quality of live for millions of patients.


Degree Type

  • Doctor of Philosophy


  • Mechanical Engineering

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Rahim Rahimi

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee co-chair

Cagri Savran

Additional Committee Member 2

Babak Ziaie

Additional Committee Member 3

Adrian Buganza Tepole

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