Biofilms are complex functional communities of one or
more species of microbes which stick to one another or onto a solid surface. These
communities are hierarchically arranged and three dimensionally organized in order to gain ecological advantages compared to their planktonic
counterparts for better survival. These
include protection from the environment, nutritional availability and metabolic
cooperation, acquisition of new genetic traits and antimicrobial resistance. According
to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), biofilms are responsible for over
80 % of all microbial infections in the body.
These include chronic wound infections, chronic
lung infections associated with cystic fibrosis, chronic osteomyelitis,
endocarditis, urinary tract infections, dental and periodontal infections, eye
infections, and gastrointestinal tract infections. Biofilms can also grow on
medical devices and cause infections with ventilator and tracheal tubing,
prosthetic joints, heart valves, cardiac pacemakers, and catheters. Scientists
continue to study how micro communities live, interact, and die in an
effort to mitigate harmful impacts. Yet,
there remains a present need for new solutions to control,
disinfect, or prevent the growth of such biofilms.
Researchers from the University of New Mexico and the
University of Texas at Austin have developed a novel method for antimicrobial
treatment. This antimicrobial treatment process results in significant destruction and killing of
biofilms. This technology can have an immediate impact in applications such as
surgical sutures, catheters, respirator parts, as well as treatment for
STC has filed intellectual property on this exciting new technology and is currently exploring commercialization options. If you are interested in information about this or other technologies, please contact Arlene Mirabal at email@example.com or 505-272-7886.