Novel Diagnostic Technologies and Therapeutic Approaches Targeting Chronic Wound Biofilms and Microbiota

Vivien Chen, Jamie L. Burgess, Rebecca Verpile, Marjana Tomic-Canic, Irena Pastar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Purpose of Review: To provide an up-to-date overview of recent developments in diagnostic methods and therapeutic approaches for chronic wound biofilms and pathogenic microbiota. Recent Findings: Biofilm infections are one of the major contributors to impaired wound healing in chronic wounds, including diabetic foot ulcers, venous leg ulcers, pressure ulcers, and nonhealing surgical wounds. As an organized microenvironment commonly including multiple microbial species, biofilms develop and persist through methods that allow evasion from host immune response and antimicrobial treatments. Suppression and reduction of biofilm infection have been demonstrated to improve wound healing outcomes. However, chronic wound biofilms are a challenge to treat due to limited methods for accurate, accessible clinical identification and the biofilm’s protective properties against therapeutic agents. Here we review recent approaches towards visual markers for less invasive, enhanced biofilm detection in the clinical setting. We outline progress in wound care treatments including investigation of their antibiofilm effects, such as with hydrosurgical and ultrasound debridement, negative pressure wound therapy with instillation, antimicrobial peptides, nanoparticles and nanocarriers, electroceutical dressings, and phage therapy. Summary: Current evidence for biofilm-targeted treatments has been primarily conducted in preclinical studies, with limited clinical investigation for many therapies. Improved identification, monitoring, and treatment of biofilms require expansion of point-of-care visualization methods and increased evaluation of antibiofilm therapies in robust clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCurrent Dermatology Reports
StateAccepted/In press - 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Antimicrobials
  • Biofilm
  • Chronic wounds
  • Host–pathogen interactions
  • Microbiome
  • Wound infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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