A Physical View of Biofilm Structure

Isaac Klapper
Department of Mathematical Sciences, Montana State University

(November 16, 2006 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM)

A Physical View of Biofilm Structure

Abstract

Biofilms are ubiquitous biological ecosystems consisting of large numbers of microbial organisms contained in a self-secreted polymeric matrix. Biofilm structure plays an important role in biofilm function and control. It is thus important to determine physical properties of biofilms regarded as materials. Measurements indicate that biofilms can be characterized as viscoelastic fluids. Observations demonstrate the tendency for material failure via sloughing of large chunks. In this talk I will discuss some efforts to understand physical properties of biofilms as materials and to use this knowledge to construct models capable of describing long-time behavior of biofilms.