Evidence-based review of antibiofilm agents for wound care

Maximillian A. Weigelt, Stephanie A. McNamara, Daniela Sanchez, Penelope A. Hirt, Robert S. Kirsner

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Significance: Biofilms in vivo are small densely packed aggregations of microbes that are highly resistant to host immune responses and treatment. They attach to each other and to nearby surfaces. Biofilms are difficult to study and identify in a clinical setting as their quantification necessitates the use of advanced microscopy techniques such as confocal laser scanning microscopy. Nonetheless, it is likely that biofilms contribute to the pathophysiology of chronic skin wounds. Reducing, removing, or preventing biofilms is thus a logical approach to help clinicians heal chronic wounds. Recent Advances: Wound care products have demonstrated varying degrees of efficacy in destroying biofilms in in vitro and preclinical models, as well as in some clinical studies. Critical Issues: Controlled studies exploring the beneficial role of biofilm eradication and its relationship to healing in patients with chronic wounds are limited. This review aims to discuss the mode of action and clinical significance of currently available antibiofilm products, including surfactants, dressings, and others, with a focus on levels of evidence for efficacy in disrupting biofilms and ability to improve wound healing outcomes. Future Directions: Few available products have good evidence to support antibiofilm activity and wound healing benefits. Novel therapeutic strategies are on the horizon. More high-quality clinical studies are needed. The development of noninvasive techniques to quantify biofilms will facilitate increased ease of research about biofilms in wounds and how to combat them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-23
Number of pages11
JournalAdvances in Wound Care
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Biofilm
  • Healing
  • Therapy
  • Treatment
  • Wound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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