Biofilms are colonies of bacteria or fungi that adhere to a surface, protected by an extracellular polymer matrix composed of polysaccharides and extracellular DNA. They are highly complex and dynamic multicellular structures that resist traditional means of killing planktonic bacteria. Recent developments in nanotechnology provide novel approaches to preventing and dispersing biofilm infections, which are a leading cause of morbidity and mortality. Medical device infections are responsible for approximately 60% of hospital acquired infections. In the United States, the estimated cost of caring for healthcare-associated infections is approximately between $28 billion and $45 billion per year. In this review, we will discuss our current understanding of biofilm formation and degradation, its relevance to challenges in clinical practice, and new technological developments in nanotechnology that are designed to address these challenges.
- Medical devices