Valley Foot Care, Inc.

Patient Education Library

What is a Biofilm?

Slow or chronic non healing wounds may have what is known as a biofilm. A biofilm occurs when wound bacteria, that normally reside in a wound, slow or impair wound healing. It is estimated that the majority of chronic wounds (60-90%) contain biofilm. Biofilm is a serious wound consideration, and if untreated, may bring about limb- or life-threatening infections.

Biofilms occur when bacteria secrete a “slime-like coating” or extracellular polymeric substance (EPS) that impairs diffusion of antimicrobial antibodies and antibiotics. In addition, EPS is negatively charged and inhibits the use of wound products containing silver. Additionally this film may help other more serious bacteria survive.

In the fight against biofilm, the product PHMB is known to “punch holes” in bacteria using its positively charged nature against the negatively charged EPS. This has a negative effect on bacterial membranes, making them more vulnerable. Additionally your wound specialist will need to perform frequent aggressive debridements in which the biofilm is cleaned up from the wound.

Private Practice Since 1997