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Translational Research - Biofilms

VAP ICUCDC States that 80% of nosocomial infections are associated with adherence/colonization of indwelling medical devices (IMDs). We have focused on ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) in intubated ICU patients and consequently, designed, implemented and evaluated a 5-part Co-Biofilm Ventilator-Endotrach-Mechanical-Lung (VEL) model that duplicates the ICU Patient environment. We wanted to study undisturbed 3-D lumenal biofilms and their architecture under controlled conditions including prokaryotes, eukaryotes, substrata, bi-directional mechanical stress factors and physio-chemical environments. Biofilms can be categorized into 4 stages utilizing 6 imaging techniques: radiographic, bright field, CLSM, flow cytometry, SEM and freeze fracture SEM. We are presently using the VEL Co-Biofilm Model to evaluate several anti-biofilm designs and strategies. We are also using a tooth model and clinical isolates from the Mountain State Oral Facial Laboratory to link the oral-systemic pathway and the co-biofilm hypothesis in VAP.