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The Effects of Biofilm and Prolonged Inflammation on the Wound Bed

Speaker: Gregory S. Schultz, PhD

Optimizing treatments to rapidly heal individual chronic wounds requires assessing multiple factors and implementing effective treatments to correct the problems that impair healing as described in the TIMERS guidelines, which emphasizes reducing the wound biofilm bioburden.



How Biofilm and Prolonged Inflammation Affect the Wound Bed

Maintaining optimal wound bed conditions requires inflammation control and infection prevention. This includes preventing the formation of biofilms, which can delay healing. If biofilm prevention is not possible, wound care providers must optimize wound bed conditions to break the cycle of continuous inflammation and promote healing.

This white paper begins with the TIMERS (tissue, inflammation, moisture, edge, repair or regeneration, and social factors) framework for wound bed preparation. It then describes the roles of biofilm in delayed wound healing and persistent inflammation and concludes with specific strategies for biofilm prevention and reduction.


Quick Facts – Biofilm and Inflammation

Evidence shows that wound bed preparation is a critical step to promote healing. Cleansing, debridement, and the use of antimicrobial agents and dressings all aid in disrupting the biofilm and keeping an acute wound from becoming chronic.

This fact sheet contains essential information for wound care professionals on wound healing, biofilm formation and management, and the TIMERS framework for wound bed preparation.


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How Much Do You Know About Biofilm and Inflammation?

Take our 10-question quiz to find out.

Terms to Know: Biofilm and Inflammation

Biofilm: Colonies of multiphenotype, free-floating bacteria that secrete a polysaccharide matrix that protects the bacteria from immune response and antibiotics.

Chronic wounds: Wounds that stall in the inflammation phase and fail to progress toward healing within 3 months are considered chronic or hard to heal.

Continuous inflammation: When wound healing becomes stalled in the inflammatory phase because of the presence of bacteria and their endotoxins, the wound is unable to move out of the inflammatory phase and into the repair phase.

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