Treatment of biofilm communities: An update on new tools from the nanosized world

Federico Bertoglio, Nora Bloise, Martina Oriano, Paola Petrini, Simone Sprio, Marcello Imbriani, Anna Tampieri, Livia Visai

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Traditionally regarded as single cell organisms, bacteria naturally and preferentially build multicellular communities that enable them to react efficiently to external stimuli in a coordinated fashion and with extremely effective outcomes. These communities are bacterial biofilms, where single cells or microcolonies are embedded in self-built Extracellular Polymeric Substance (EPS), composed of different macromolecules, e.g., polysaccharides, proteins, lipids, and extracellular DNA (eDNA). Despite being the most common form in nature and having many biotechnologically useful applications, biofilm is often regarded as a life-threatening form of bacterial infection. Since this form of bacterial life is intrinsically more resistant to antibiotic treatment and antimicrobial resistance is reaching alarming levels, we will focus our attention on how nanotechnology made new tools available to the medical community for the prevention and treatment of these infections. After a brief excursus on biofilm formation and its main characteristics, different types of nanomaterials developed to prevent or counteract these multicellular forms of bacterial infection will be described. A comparison of different classifications adopted for nanodrugs and a final discussion of challenges and future perspectives are also presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number845
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number6
StatePublished - May 23 2018


  • Antibacterial nanomaterials
  • Biofilm
  • Nanomedicine
  • Nanoparticles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Instrumentation
  • Engineering(all)
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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