Rheology of biofilms


The paper describes an experimental study concerning the mechanical properties of bacterial biofilms formed from the early dental plaque colonizer Streptoccocus mutans and pond water biofilms. Experiments reported in this paper demonstrate that both types of biofilms exhibit mechanical behavior similar to that of rheological fluids. The time-dependent properties of both biofilms have been modeled using the principles of viscoelasticity theory. The Burger model has been found to accurately represent the response of both biofilms for the duration of the experiments. On this basis, the creep compliances of both biofilms have been characterized, and the respective relaxation functions have been determined analytically.




Winston, M., C.J. Rupp, A. Vinogradov, B.W. Towler, H. Adams and P. Stoodley, "Rheology of biofilms," Proceedings 16th Engineering Mechanics Conference of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Seattle, July 16-18th. (2003)
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