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

C. J. Highmore, G. Melaugh, R. J. Morris, J. Parker, S. O. L. Direito, M. Romero, F. Soukarieh, S. N. Robertson (Lead / Corresponding author), N. C. Bamford (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
48 Downloads (Pure)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Article number68
Number of pages10
Journalnpj Biofilms and Microbiomes
Publication statusPublished - 29 Aug 2022


  • Biofilms
  • Waste Water
  • Water

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Biotechnology
  • Microbiology


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