Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association
Volume 94 Number 6 565-572 2004
Copyright © 2004 American Podiatric Medical Association

Low-Voltage Direct Current as a Fungicidal Agent for Treating Onychomycosis

Douglas P. Kalinowski, PhD, Laura E. Edsberg, PhD, Robert A. Hewson, DPM, Robert H. Johnson, PhD and Michael S. Brogan, MS, DPT

"This study was undertaken to evaluate in vitro the efficacy of low-voltage direct current as an antifungal agent for treating onychomycosis [a fungal disease of the nails]. Agar plate cultures of T rubrum and T mentagrophytes were subjected to low-voltage direct current electrostimulation, and antifungal effects were observed as zones in the agar around the electrodes lacking fungal growth. Zones devoid of fungal growth were observed for T rubrum and T mentagrophytes around anodes and cathodes in a dose-dependent manner in the current range of 500 µA to 3 mA. Low-voltage direct current electrostimulation has great clinical potential for the treatment of onychomycosis and perhaps other superficial maladies of fungal etiology."

Patent #20090117513 

A method and apparatus for the concurrent treatment of multiple oral diseases and defects while promoting general oral hygiene utilizing direct current electricity. Electrodes are used to deliver a direct current to the gingival tissues of a mouth in order to achieve a number of therapeutic, prophylactic, and regenerative benefits. These benefits include killing oral microbes, increasing oral vasodilation, improving oral blood circulation, reversing oral bone resorption [loss], promoting oral osteogenesis [bone growth], treating gum recession, and fostering gingival regeneration. Other benefits include the treatment of gingivitis, perdiodontitis, and oral malodor while also promoting general oral hygiene.

Specifically, by utilizing a direct current in the aforementioned range [50 to 250 microamperes], not only did such a treatment kill bacteria, but it was also found to kill or disable viruses and fungus as well. Studies from the podiatric field have shown that higher current levels than those used in existing oral electrical treatments are necessary to effectively treat fungal infections (“Low-Voltage Direct Current as a Fungicidal Agent for Treating Onychomycosis”, Kalinowski, et al., Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association Vol. 94 No. 6: 565-572, 2004). By applying this knowledge of increased current levels from research outside the art, the applicants were able to add fungicidal and viricidal benefits to a method already known to be bactericidal.

Click here for a report on how immune cells can use an electric shock to kill bacteria and fungus.