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Translational challenges and opportunities in biofilm science: a BRIEF for the future

Highmore, C. J.; Melaugh, G.; Morris, R. J.; Parker, J.; Direito, S. O. L.; Romero, M.; Soukarieh, F.; Robertson, S. N.; Bamford, N. C.

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C. J. Highmore

G. Melaugh

R. J. Morris

J. Parker

S. O. L. Direito

N. C. Bamford


Biofilms are increasingly recognised as a critical global issue in a multitude of industries impacting health, food and water security, marine sector, and industrial processes resulting in estimated economic cost of $5 trillion USD annually. A major barrier to the translation of biofilm science is the gap between industrial practices and academic research across the biofilms field. Therefore, there is an urgent need for biofilm research to notice and react to industrially relevant issues to achieve transferable outputs. Regulatory frameworks necessarily bridge gaps between different players, but require a clear, science-driven non-biased underpinning to successfully translate research. Here we introduce a 2-dimensional framework, termed the Biofilm Research-Industrial Engagement Framework (BRIEF) for classifying existing biofilm technologies according to their level of scientific insight, including the understanding of the underlying biofilm system, and their industrial utility accounting for current industrial practices. We evidence the BRIEF with three case studies of biofilm science across healthcare, food & agriculture, and wastewater sectors highlighting the multifaceted issues around the effective translation of biofilm research. Based on these studies, we introduce some advisory guidelines to enhance the translational impact of future research.


Highmore, C. J., Melaugh, G., Morris, R. J., Parker, J., Direito, S. O. L., Romero, M., …Bamford, N. C. (2022). Translational challenges and opportunities in biofilm science: a BRIEF for the future. npj Biofilms and Microbiomes, 8, Article 68.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 4, 2022
Online Publication Date Aug 29, 2022
Publication Date Aug 29, 2022
Deposit Date Oct 21, 2022
Publicly Available Date Oct 21, 2022
Journal npj Biofilms and Microbiomes
Electronic ISSN 2055-5008
Publisher Springer Science and Business Media LLC
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 8
Article Number 68
Keywords Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology; Microbiology; Biotechnology
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Translational challenges and opportunities in biofilm science: a BRIEF for the future (943 Kb)

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