Combating Biofilms In The Chronic Wound

Given the complexity of biofilm in lower extremity wounds, these authors offer a closer look on how biofilm develops, keys to eradicating biofilm and emerging modalities that may have an impact in the future.


We all encounter biofilms on a regular basis in our practices. A biofilm is a complex polymicrobal community of bacteria and fungi that develops on foreign materials, necrotic debris, exposed bone, and within the bed of chronic wounds. When James and colleagues examined the biopsies of 50 chronic wound beds, 60 percent contained a biofilm.


Planktonic or free-floating bacteria are more aggressive and divide more rapidly. Changes in gene expression allow them to secrete hydrolase enzymes and exotoxins, resulting in more rapid local tissue invasion. As a bacterial colony develops, environmental stimuli induce the cells to engage in quorum sensing, a gradient-based recruitment strategy used to summon additional bacteria to the developing biofilm and alter the phenotypic expression of bacteria within the community. Free-floating planktonic bacteria adhere to the wound bed using very weak molecular interactions … read more