Journal article

Emergent pattern formation in an interstitial biofilm

Cameron Zachreson, Christian Wolff, Cynthia B Whitchurch, Milos Toth

PHYSICAL REVIEW E | AMER PHYSICAL SOC | Published : 2017

Abstract

Collective behavior of bacterial colonies plays critical roles in adaptability, survivability, biofilm expansion and infection. We employ an individual-based model of an interstitial biofilm to study emergent pattern formation based on the assumptions that rod-shaped bacteria furrow through a viscous environment and excrete extracellular polymeric substances which bias their rate of motion. Because the bacteria furrow through their environment, the substratum stiffness is a key control parameter behind the formation of distinct morphological patterns. By systematically varying this property (which we quantify with a stiffness coefficient γ), we show that subtle changes in the substratum stif..

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