A Formidable Foe Is Sabotaging Your Results: What You Should Know about Biofilms and Wound Healing

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Learning Objectives:

After reading this article, the participant should be able to: 1. Describe biofilm pathogenesis as it relates to problem wounds. 2. Understand the preclinical and clinical evidence implicating biofilm in problem wounds. 3. Explain the diagnostic and treatment challenges that biofilms create for problem wounds. 4. Demonstrate a basic understanding of emerging strategies aimed at counteracting these processes.


Biofilm represents a protected mode of growth for bacteria, allowing them to evade standard diagnostic techniques and avoid eradication by standard therapies. Although only recently discovered, biofilm has existed for millennia and complicates nearly every aspect of medicine. Biofilm impacts wound healing by allowing bacteria to evade immune responses, prolonging inflammation and disabling skin barrier function. It is important to understand why problem wounds persist despite state-of-the-art treatment, why they are difficult to accurately diagnose, and why they recur. The aim of this article is to focus on current gaps in knowledge related to problem wounds, specifically, biofilm infection.

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