Bulletin of the American Physical Society
APS March Meeting 2021
Monday–Friday, March 15–19, 2021; Virtual; Time Zone: Central Daylight Time, USA
Session B13: Physics of Biofilms I
11:30 AM–2:30 PM,
Monday, March 15, 2021
Sponsoring Units: DBIO DFD DPOLY DSOFT
Chair: Vernita Gordon, University of Texas at Austin; Jing Yan, Yale University
Abstract: B13.00010 : Revealing biomechanical feedback during biofilm growth with single-cell resolution imaging and modeling
1:42 PM–2:18 PM
Biofilms are ubiquitous bacterial communities embedded in an extracellular matrix. Biofilm is the predominant lifestyle of bacteria in nature, and it can cause clogging and fouling in industry and chronic infections in medicine. Many natural and industrially or clinically relevant biofilms grow inside a structured, confined environment, such as biofilms formed in food industry and in eukaryotic hosts. However, little is known as to how biofilms grow in these mechanically confined environments. In this talk, I will discuss about our recent progress in single-cell imaging and characterization tools to study the morphological evolution of biofilms grown under confinement in the model organism Vibrio cholerae, the agent causing the cholera pandemic. Using a combination of state-of-the-art imaging, image analysis, mutagenesis, computer simulations, and soft-matter theories, I will show how the mechanical environment and the biofilm growth reciprocally interact with each other, leading to the morphogenesis of confined biofilms. The fundamental understanding from our work will potentially enhance the use of beneficial biofilms in our society and mitigate biofilm-related problems in industrial and medical settings.
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