Bacterial Growth on a Dynamical Surface - Vibration Induced Spreading

Condensed Matter lunchtime seminar

Bacterial Growth on a Dynamical Surface - Vibration Induced Spreading

  • Event time: 1:00pm until 2:00pm
  • Event date: 24th November 2019
  • Speaker: (School of Physics & Astronomy, University of Edinburgh)
  • Location: Room 2511,

Event details

Bacteria are robust and adaptive organisms, capable of colonising almost any surface they interact with providing it has not already been pre-treated to prevent adhesion. Although most research on bacterial colonisation has been done on static surfaces, many surfaces change with time: our skin, plant leaves and elastic medical tubing such as catheters are all deformable. This raises the question: How does surface deformation, or motion, affect colony growth? 

In this seminar I will describe a novel experimental setup that has been designed to investigate the effect of surface motion/deformation on bacterial colony growth. Results will be presented that show that E.coli colonies grown on periodically deformed surfaces exhibit an increased perimeter roughness when compared to colonies grown on a static surface. The colonies grown on the dynamic surfaces also have a larger final area than that of the static colonies. I will discuss ongoing efforts to investigate the roles played by both surface acceleration and deformation in causing these effects. I will also describe a custom in-situ microscope that has been built to image the growth of the colonies on dynamic substrates in real-time, allowing for the velocity of the growing front to be calculated for colonies grown on plates vibrated at different frequencies. The seminar will close with an outlook on future work that will be undertaken using the foundations designed with this experiment.

About Condensed Matter lunchtime seminars

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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