Role of Biofilms

Biofilms are massive bacterial colonies encased in a protective polysaccharide matrix.

This matrix provides constitutive members with a potent defense against antibiotics and immune systems. While 99% of all bacteria exist in biofilms, antimicrobial research has historically focused on the effects of antibiotics on solitary bacteria, leading to serious over estimation of antimicrobial efficacy in chronic infections.

Further complicating matters, biofilms form beneath the wound surface and may escape swab culture detection, leading to bio-burden under estimation and subsequent under-treatment of a clinically relevant infection. Biofilms are involved in 60-80% of persistent infections, and is one of the leading causes of hospital-acquired infections. Successful biofilm eradication is a key aspect of infection resolution and timely wound healing.

How Bacteria Colonize Within Biofilm

  1. Free-Floating Bacteria

    In the earliest stage of growth, bacteria are free-floating and live independently making it easier to control them with normal antibiotics treatments.

  2. Bacteria Collect in Groups

    When bacteria mature, they collect and form a protective shield called biofilm. At this stage it becomes difficult to kill bacteria with traditional antibiotics.

  3. Bacteria Thrive and Mature

    While protected by biofilm, bacteria colonize rapidly and begin to behave as a group making them significantly stronger and resistant to antibiotics.

  4. New Bacteria is Dispersed

    When fully mature, bacteria living within biofilm disperse free-floating bacteria which repeat the cycle as they colonize and produce biofilm.