Commonality of elastic relaxation times in biofilms
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Biofilms, sticky conglomerations of microorganisms and extracellular polymers, are among the Earth's most common life forms. One component for their survival is an ability to withstand external mechanical stress. Measurements indicate that biofilm elastic relaxation times are approximately the same (about 18 min) over a wide sample of biofilms though other material properties vary significantly. A possible survival significance of this time scale is that it is the shortest period over which a biofilm can mount a phenotypic response to transient mechanical stress.
Shaw T, Winston M, Rupp CJ, Klapper I, Stoodley P, "Commonality of elastic relaxation times in biofilms," Phys Rev Lett, 2004 93(9):098102 1-4