Wound Biofilm: Current Perspectives and Strategies on Biofilm Disruption and Treatments

Robert J. Snyder, Greg Bohn, Jason Hanft, Larry Harkless, Paul Kim, Larry Lavery, Greg Schultz, Randy Wolcott

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


The presence of bio lm remains a challenging factor that contributes to the delayed healing of many chronic wounds. The major threat of chronic wound bio lms is their substantial protection from host immunities and extreme tolerance to antimicrobial agents. To help guide the development of wound treatment strategies, a panel of experts experienced in clinical and laboratory aspects of biofilm convened to discuss what is understood and not yet understood about biofilms and what is needed to better identify and treat chronic wounds in which biofilm is suspected. This article reviews evidence of the problem of biofilms in chronic wounds, summarizes literature-based and experience-based recommendations from the panel meeting, and identities future and emerging technologies needed to address the current gaps in knowledge. While currently there is insufficient evidence to provide an accurate comparison of the effectiveness of current therapies/products in reducing or removing biofilm, research has shown that in addition to debridement, appropriate topical antimicrobial application can suppress biofilm reformation. Because the majority of the resistance of bacteria in a biofilm population is expressed by its own secreted matrix of extracellular polymeric substance (EPS), panel members stressed the need for a paradigm shift toward biofilm treatment strategies that disrupt this shield. High-osmolarity surfactant solution technology is emerging as a potential multimodal treatment that has shown promise in EPS disruption and prevention of biofilm formation when used immediately post debridement. Panel members advocated incorporating an EPS-disrupting technology into an antibiofilm treatment approach for all chronic wounds. The activity of this panel is a step toward identifying technology and research needed to improve biofilm management of chronic wounds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S1-S17
JournalWounds : a compendium of clinical research and practice
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Medical–Surgical


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