Trobos Group

Research group
Active research
Project owner
Institute of Clinical Sciences

See each project below for funding information

Short description

The Trobos Group is led by Associate Professor Margarita Trobos and has a research focus on biomaterial-associated infections, covering aspects on the pathogenesis (biofilm mechanisms and antimicrobial resistance) and evaluating novel diagnostic, preventive and therapeutic strategies

Research field

Infection on implants is one of the worst complications and numbers are increasing due to the large elderly population, representing more than half of hospital-acquired infections. These infections are caused by microorganisms that grow in biofilms and are difficult to diagnose and treat. The global rise on antibiotic resistance challenges their control and require urgent innovative alternatives to antibiotics.


1. Virulence inhibitors for the treatment of soft tissue infections

In collaboration with industrial partners, the group is currently addressing alternative treatments for chronic wounds to stop bacterial communication and virulence.

The overall purpose of this research project is to create a deeper understanding of the role of bacterial colonisation and infection in chronic wounds, more specifically the impact of bacterial virulence to the pathogenicity will be studied. The possibility of using virulence inhibitors as a new treatment strategy for hard-to-heal wounds will be pre-clinically evaluated in vitro and in viv

Period: 2017-2022

Funding: Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research (SSF; RMA15-0110 2016), Mölnlycke Health Care AB (Sweden), European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No 754412 (MoRE2020 - Region Västra Götaland), CARe - Centre for Antibiotic Resistance Research at University of Gothenburg, Handlanden Hjalmar Svensson Foundation, Adlerbertska Foundation and Doctor Felix Neubergh Foundation.


  1. Gerner E, Almqvist S, Thomsen P, Werthen M, Trobos M. Sodium Salicylate Influences the Pseudomonas aeruginosa Biofilm Structure and Susceptibility Towards Silver. Int J Mol Sci. Jan 21 2021;22(3)DOI:10.3390/ijms22031060.
  2. Gerner E, Almqvist S, Werthen M, Trobos M. Sodium salicylate interferes with quorum-sensing-regulated virulence in chronic wound isolates of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in simulated wound fluid. J Med Microbiol. Apr 22 2020;DOI:10.1099/jmm.0.001188.

2. Treatment of periprosthetic joint infections guided by Minimum Biofilm Eradication Concentration (MBEC) in addition to Minimum Inhibitory Concentration (MIC)

A new diagnostic method is under evaluation to guide treatment decisions of orthopaedic infections caused by biofilms. Staphylococci account for most deep infections associated with orthopaedic device related infections. It is important to investigate if these infections have a biofilm origin and to determine the biofilm antimicrobial susceptibility to improve treatment strategies. Retrospective and prospective clinical studies will evaluate the clinical relevance and implementation of the diagnostic method, in collaboration with the clinical departments of Orthopaedics and Infectious Diseases.

Period: 2017-2023

Funding: Swedish research council (VR, 2020-05703), ALF agreement (ALFGBG-725641; ALFGBG-719961), European Union Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement no. 754412 (MoRE2020 - Region Västra Götaland), CARe - Centre for Antibiotic Resistance Research at University of Gothenburg, the IngaBritt and Arne Lundberg Foundation (LU2021-0048), Handlanden Hjalmar Svensson Foundation, Adlerbertska Foundation, Doctor Felix Neubergh Foundation, Göteborgs Läkarsällskap/The Gothenburg Medical Society research grants (for PhD-studies and Svea Bäcksins grant GLS-780551, GLS-973592).


  1. Zaborowska M, Tillander J, Branemark R, Hagberg L, Thomsen P, Trobos M. Biofilm formation and antimicrobial susceptibility of staphylococci and enterococci from osteomyelitis associated with percutaneous orthopaedic implants. J Biomed Mater Res B Appl Biomater. Nov 2017;105(8):2630-2640. DOI:10.1002/jbm.b.33803.
  2. Svensson Malchau, K., Tillander, J., Zaborowska, M., Hoffman, M., Lasa, I., Thomsen, P., Malchau, H., Rolfson, O. & Trobos, M. Biofilm properties in relation to treatment outcome in patients with first-time periprosthetic hip or knee joint infection. J Orthop Translat 30, 31-40 (2021).

3. Role of staphylococcal extracellular vesicles on biomaterial-associated infections

Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are part of the bacterial communication system, but the role of EVs from staphylococci in biofilm formation processes and bacterial physiological functions is unknown. The overall aim of this project is to determine the function and mechanisms of staphylococcal EVs in the pathogenesis of biofilm infections.

Period: 2014-2022

Funding: European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No 754412 (MoRE2020 - Region Västra Götaland), CARe - Centre for Antibiotic Resistance Research at University of Gothenburg, Handlanden Hjalmar Svensson Foundation, Adlerbertska Foundation and Doctor Felix Neubergh Foundation.


  1. Zaborowska M, Taulé Flores C, Vazirisani F, Shah FA, Thomsen P, Trobos M. Extracellular Vesicles Influence the Growth and Adhesion of Staphylococcus epidermidis Under Antimicrobial Selective Pressure. Front Microbiol. 2020 Jul 2;11:1132. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2020.01132. PMID: 32714283; PMCID: PMC7346684.
  2. Zaborowska, M., Vazirisani, F., Shah, F.A., Firdaus, R., Omar, O., Ekstrom, K., Trobos, M. & Thomsen, P. Immunomodulatory effects exerted by extracellular vesicles from Staphylococcus epidermidis and Staphylococcus aureus isolated from bone-anchored prostheses. Biomaterials 278, 121158 (2021).

4. BIOREMIA – European Training Network: Biofilm-resistant materials for hard tissue implant applications

BIOREMIA are research and educational training programmes to develop biofilm-resistant materials for bone implant applications. BIOREMIA aims to improve the patient quality of life by minimizing infection rates of medical implants. Innovative material-based solutions with enhanced antibacterial and antifouling functionality will be developed for improved biological acceptance of implants for bone-related applications (orthopaedics and dentistry).

Period: 2020-2023

Funding: 4-year project funded by the European Commission under Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska Curie Actions.


5. Joint program Chalmers–GU on biomaterial-associated infection

This is a multidisciplinary and twinning collaboration program between the department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering (Chalmers University of Technology) and the department of Biomaterials (University of Gothenburg) on biomaterial-associated infections and their role in antimicrobial resistance. The knowledge generated can provide future therapeutic alternatives, strategies for infection control, and ultimately a decreased incidence of biomaterial-associated infections and most importantly find measures to fight antimicrobial resistance. The goal is to generate high quality scientific knowledge and to enable bedside translation of knowledge. 

Period: 2020-2022

Funding: The Area of Advanced Materials of Chalmers and GU Biomaterials within the Strategic Research Area initiative launched by the Swedish Government.


  1. Atefyekta S, Blomstrand E, Rajasekharan AK, Svensson S, Trobos M, Hong J, Webster TJ, Thomsen P, Andersson M. Antimicrobial Peptide-Functionalized Mesoporous Hydrogels. ACS Biomater Sci Eng. 2021. DOI: 10.1021/acsbiomaterials.1c00029.

6. Microbiological profile of bone-anchored hearing systems (BAHS)

The bone-anchored hearing system (BAHS) has evolved to a common treatment option for various types of hearing revalidation. The BAHS consists of an implant in the skull that breeches the skin. Soft tissue reactions are a common complication associated with BAHS and are generally poorly understood. This project includes prospective clinical trials and aims at investigating the influence of relevant bacteria for BAHS-associated inflammation, as well as evaluating abutments with different topologies and preventive measures with respect to the clinical outcome and the microbiological profile.

Different sampling methods (retrieval of abutment, collection of peri-abutment exudate using paper-points, and a small peri-abutment soft-tissue biopsy) have been tested for the identification and quantification of colonising bacteria around BAHS.

Period: 2017-2021

Funding: Oticon, Handlanden Hjalmar Svensson Foundation, Adlerbertska Foundation, Doctor Felix Neubergh Foundation.


  1. Johansson ML, Calon TGA, Omar O, Shah FA, Trobos M, Thomsen P, Stokroos R, Palmquist A. Multimodal analysis of the tissue response to a bone-anchored hearing implant: presentation of a two-year case report of a patient with recurrent pain, inflammation, and infection, including a systematic literature review. Front Cell Infect Microbiol. 2021. DOI:10.3389/fcimb.2021.640899.
  2. Trobos M, Johansson ML, Jonhede S, Peters H, Hoffman M, Omar O, Thomsen P, Hultcrantz M. The clinical outcome and microbiological profile of bone-anchored hearing systems (BAHS) with different abutment topographies: a prospective pilot study. Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. Jun 2018;275(6):1395-1408. DOI:10.1007/s00405-018-4946-z.
  3. Calon TGA, Trobos M, Johansson ML, van Tongeren J, van der Lugt-Degen M, Janssen AML, Savelkoul PHM, Stokroos RJ, Budding AE. Microbiome on the Bone-Anchored Hearing System: A Prospective Study. Front Microbiol. 2019;10:799. DOI:10.3389/fmicb.2019.00799.

7. Barrier function and oral plaque formation on PTFE membranes for GBR

This project evaluates biofilm formation and barrier function against oral bacteria by nonresorbable polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) guided bone regeneration membranes having expanded (e-PTFE) and dense (d-PTFE) microstructure.

Funding: BIOMATCELL VINN Excellence Center of Biomaterials and Cell Therapy, the Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems (grant No 2018-00252), Innovationsfonden (Region Västra Götaland), the Osteology Foundation, Neoss Ltd, Handlanden Hjalmar Svensson Foundation, the Adlerbertska Foundation, the Doctor Felix Neubergh Foundation.


  1. Turri A, Cirgic E, Shah FA, Hoffman M, Omar O, Dahlin C, Trobos M. Early plaque formation on PTFE membranes with expanded or dense surface structures applied in the oral cavity of human volunteers. Clin Exp Dent Res. Nov 9 2020;DOI:10.1002/cre2.344.
  2. Trobos M, Juhlin A, Shah FA, Hoffman M, Sahlin H, Dahlin C. In vitro evaluation of barrier function against oral bacteria of dense and expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) membranes for guided bone regeneration. Clin Implant Dent Relat Res. 2018 Oct;20(5):738-748. doi: 10.1111/cid.12629. Epub 2018 Jul 24. PMID: 30039909.



The unit for microbiology consists of a biosafety level 2 microbiology laboratory and equipment such as CO2- and shaking-incubators, biofilm reactors, confocal microscope, plate reader, flow cytometry/cell sorter, ultracentrifuge, and biobank (clinical and laboratory bacterial strains, bacterial DNA, bacterial RNA and bacterial extracellular vesicles).

Guest Researchers


Liliana Morales Laverde

Ph.D. student at Microbial Pathogenesis Research Unit
NAVARRABIOMED and Public University of Navarre (Spain)


Aleksandra Bartkowska
Ph.D. student at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (Spain)


Yohan Douest
Ph.D. student at MATEIS (INSA-Lyon, France)

Liliana Morales Laverede
Liliana Morales Laverede
Aleksandra Bartkowska
Aleksandra Bartkowska