Instabilities in Bacterial Biofilms

Condensed Matter lunchtime seminar

Instabilities in Bacterial Biofilms

Event details

When observing the morphogenesis of Bacillus subtilis floating biofilms, we detect some kinds of bacteria self-assemblies at the liquid-air interface that further undergo a bioconvection process. Thus, the presence of the bacteria in the solution locally modifies the properties of the environment that in turn acts on the cells’ behavior. This interplay between the population of bacteria and the heterogeneities of the environment plays an important role in conditioning the biofilm development as well as its structure. Once it’s formed, the pellicle mechanically responds to any external load like a visco-elastic film. We measure an internal pushing force by using simple manipulations and a suitable force sensor. We conclude that this force help bacteria to shape the biofilm, improve its mechanical resistance and facilitate its invasion and self-repairing.

This is a weekly series of informal talks given primarily by members of the soft condensed matter and statistical mechanics groups, but is also open to members of other groups and external visitors. The aim of the series is to promote discussion and learning of various topics at a level suitable to the broad background of the group. Everyone is welcome to attend..

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