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Image: Madeleine Ramstedt

Biofilms on medical devices

Research project This project investigates bacterial colonization of surfaces in a medical context. These biofilms may play a role for example in nosocomial infections.

The project contains two research directions: 1) increasing the fundamental understanding of bacterial (co-)colonization and 2) investigating surface coatings that may prevent biofilm formation on medical devices.

Head of project

Madeleine Ramstedt
Associate professor

Project overview

Project period:

Start date: 2008-01-01

Participating departments and units at Umeå University

Department of Chemistry, Department of Clinical Microbiology, Department of Molecular Biology

Research area

Chemical sciences, Infection biology, Materials science

Project description

We have been investigating how surface physicochemical properties of both material surfaces and the bacterial cell envelope influence bacterial colonization. As model surfaces, we have used thin polymer coatings in the form of polymer brushes. Currently we are investigating how bacterial multi-species interactions influence biofilm formation on medical devices.

In connection to this project, we have also been involved in a European network that, among other things, was reviewing the methodology for in vitro and in vivo biofilm testing.

Through the years, this work has been supported by: Curth Nilsson Foundation for Strategic Research, Carl Trygger Foundation for Scientific Research, the Swedish Research Council, Olle Engkvist Byggmästare Foundation, the Swedish Foundation for International Cooperation in Research and Higher Education (STINT), a EU Framework Programme under Horizon 2020 in the form of a Trans Domain COST Action – (TD1305 iPROMEDAI), as well as the Kempe Foundations.

We have also had the opportunity to collaborate with many other researches on this topic, e.g. Anders Sjöstedt, Bernt Eric Uhlin, Sun Nyunt Wai at Umeå University, Julien Gautrot at Queen Mary University London, UK, Cristina Prat at Hospital Universitari Germans Trias i Pujol, Spain and Mette Burmølle at University of Copenhagen, Denmark.


2010, Protein resistant NTA-functionalised polymer brushes for selective and stable immobilisation of histidine-tagged proteins

2013, The surface charge of anti-bacterial coatings alters motility and biofilm architecture

2014, Surface-Initiated Polymer Brushes in the Biomedical Field: Applications in Membrane Science, Biosensing, Cell Culture, Regenerative Medicine and Antibacterial Coatings, (Review)

2015, A multivariate approach to correlate surface properties and biofilm formation by lipopolysaccharide mutants of Pseudomonas aeruginosa

2018, Characterization of clinically relevant model bacterial strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa for anti-biofilm testing of materials

2018, In vitro methods for the evaluation of antimicrobial coatings, (Review)

2019, Evaluating Efficacy of Antimicrobial and Antifouling Materials for Urinary Tract Medical Devices – Challenges and recommendations (Review)  

2022, Can multi-species biofilms defeat antimicrobial surfaces on medical devices? (Review)

2022, Enhanced Antibiotic Tolerance of an In Vitro Multispecies Uropathogen Biofilm Model, Useful for Studies of Catheter‐Associated Urinary Tract Infections


Latest update: 2023-04-05