Biofilm based wound care

Published on October 7, 2014   42 min

Other Talks in the Series: Wound Healing

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This is Dr. Randy Wolcott, and this presentation will be on biofilm-based wound care. Let's get started.
Those are our objectives, the main objective being that there's two ways by which bacteria cause infection. I do have a conflict of interest as being a part owner of PathoGenius Laboratory. It's a laboratory that uses DNA to identify microbes. And let me just brag about PathoGenius for a second. When NASA wanted to make sure there was no microbial DNA on Curiosity, they turned to our laboratory. And that's really cool, and that gives us a lot of credibility. But we started asking ourselves, why would they care if there's microbes on Curiosity? Well, then we understood that the Martians really don't like bacteria. Well, this is to point out that we're going to stick with hard science. And when I make my reaches and conjectures, I'll be sure to identify that.
The first thing we have to understand is what a biofilm is. Bill Costerton coined this term in the late '70s, when he was seeing slime on a rock in the alpine streams. This slime that's on this piece of wood is microbes. It's the self-secreted goo of the microbes. But it's also sand and grit and the wood that it's attached to. So all of that would be called biofilm in nature.
This is an overview of the life cycle of biofilm. What Peg Dirckx is illustrating here are the four basic components of biofilm, which is attachment, microcolony formation, quorum sensing to form a mature colony, and then reproduction. So individual bacteria, planktonic bacteria, find a surface, they attach. Once there's a quorum or a sufficient number of these bacteria, a structure, a three-dimensional structure, rises up off the surface and forms the channels and the architecture that we call mature biofilm. Reproductively, 70% comes off as detachment fragments, and 30% come off as seeds. So the detachment fragments have all the colony defenses of the mature biofilm. And then the seeds are the planktonic or individual free-floating bacteria that we understand as bacteria on a Petri dish.