Rheology of Biofilms: A Soft Matter Physics Perspective
This event is in the past.
Dr. Clemence Abriat, University of Michigan
Biofilms are viscoelastic materials produced by microbial life that are able to withstand a great variety of external stresses, due to the properties of the extracellular polymeric matrix. The development of bacterial biofilms on various surfaces raises important issues in the industrial and health domains. The polymeric matrix protects bacteria from external stresses making them extremely persistent in nature as well as in infections and complicating the treatments with traditional antibiotics. In this talk, I will present how tools from soft matter physics have been applied to bring a new understanding of the mechanics of biofilms. More specifically, I will show how we have used rheology to identify the key factors contributing to the biofilm polymeric matrix strength in bacterial and fungi species. By combining innovative engineering setups and traditional microbial assays we provide some fundamental knowledge about the role of the extracellular polymeric matrix in microbial communities.