Microbial Biofilms Lab (LABIM) | Fondazione Santa Lucia

Microbial Biofilms Lab (LABIM)

Areas of Investigation 

The Laboratory of Microbial Biofilms (LABIM) studies nosocomial infections caused by microorganisms able to grow as biofilm. Biofilms are heterogeneous microbial communities, consisting of microcolonies of bacterial or fungal cells, often belonging to different species. They develop immersed in a self-produced extracellular matrix mainly constituted by polysaccharides, giving rise to complex three-dimensional structures.

Biofilms can grow both on inert surfaces (e.g. those of medical devices, biomedical instruments and hospital furniture) and on biotic surfaces (e.g. mucous membranes, surgical wounds, pressure ulcers). The surfaces of medical devices more frequently implanted into the body (e.g. vascular and urinary catheters, orthopedic prostheses and nasogastric tubes) are particularly exposed to the colonization of different microbial species, depending on the body area and the mode of implant.

A deeper knowledge of microbial biofilm development and its ability to resist antimicrobial treatment allows to better evaluate the associated health risks and to implement more appropriate clinical care strategies to prevent hospital infections.

Collaborations 

  • Department of Biomedical Sciences and Public Health, Polytechnic University of Marche, Ancona (Italy)
  • Department of Chemistry, Sapienza - University of Rome (Italy)
  • Department of Infectious Diseases, Italian National Institute of Health (ISS), Rome (Italy)
  • Department of Life Sciences and Environment, Polytechnic University of Marche, Ancona (Italy)
  • Department of Microbiology, Vivantes Klinikum Am Urban, Berlin (Germany)
  • Department of Oral Implantology and Prosthetic Dentistry, University of Amsterdam (Netherlands)
  • Institute for Microbiology, Masarykovy University, Brno (Czech Republic)
  • Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Leeds (United Kingdom)
  • Surface Science Research Centre, The University of Liverpool (United Kingdom)
  • UCIDIO / REQUIMTE, Faculty of Pharmacy, Universidade do Porto (Portugal)
Ongoing Research Projects 
  • Growth in biofilm and antibiotic resistance of bacteria isolated from patients in neurorehabilitation.
Completed Research Projects 
  • ESCMID-ESGB project: Virulence and resistance features of Acinetobacter baumannii genetic lineages associated with biofilm-based urinary catheter-related infections
  • Studies on the possible use of probiotics for the prevention and treatment of infections caused by microbial biofilms

Laboratory of Microbial Biofilms (LABIM)

Fondazione Santa Lucia Irccs

Via Ardeatina, 354 – 00179 Rome