Montana State University

MSU's Center for Biofilm Engineering co-sponsoring conference with FDA

February 18, 2014 -- MSU News Service

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571
msunews@montana.edu

BOZEMAN – Montana State University’s Center for Biofilm Engineering, along with the federal Food and Drug Administration, will be co-sponsoring a public workshop on Thursday, Feb. 20, at the FDA campus in Silver Spring, Md. The one-day conference will bring together the research community, scientists from FDA and EPA, as well as industry representatives.

“We are proud to be working with the Food and Drug Administration to foster discussions about on-going research into how biofilms affect medical devices. To get the most out of this process, it is critical to bring the academic community together with representatives from industry, as well as scientists from federal agencies, ” CBE Director Phil Stewart said, noting that all 160 spots for the event have been filled. “It’s gratifying that we’ve seen such an overwhelming response to this workshop.”

The biochemical and physiochemical characteristics of biofilms have been widely studied. However, the role that biofilms play in the development of device-related infections and other so-called healthcare-associated infections, as well as their connection with development of drug-resistant infections, had been less widely studied until recent years.

Stewart said the increasing use of implanted medical devices makes understanding biofilm development on these devices critical for protecting and promoting public health. Research on the basic science of biofilms may provide insight on device-associated biofilms, ultimately advancing research on technologies that are intended to prevent or control biofilm formation.

This public workshop seeks to share scientific information between the academic and healthcare communities, U.S. government scientists, and industry interested in developing products to address biofilm contamination.

Major topics to be covered at the workshop: 

  • Research on biofilms and their public health impact;
  • Challenges faced by the scientific community, clinical community, government and industry on addressing biofilm contamination of medical devices;
  • Critical areas of research that will address the scientific and clinical challenges faced by the stakeholders when developing technologies that are intended to prevent biofilm formation.

Stewart said he is optimistic the workshop could lead to future discussions related to novel biofilm prevention technologies that could benefit U.S. public health.

Contact: Peg Dirckx, (406) 994-1846, peg_d@biofilm.montana.edu.