Biofilm growth: Perspectives on two-phase mixture flow and fingerings formation

S. Hao, B. Moran, D. Chopp

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


The motion of biofilm in aqueous environment is modeled as two-phase mixture flow which is governed by a generalized Novier-Stokes equation. Noticed that the propagation of bacteria colonies obeys the diffusion law with the similar instability mechanism in the coarsening of metallic grains during solidification, a thermodynamic framework has been derived which reveals the two competing mechanisms in biofilm growth: the absorption of nutrition from water phase that tends to maximize the contact area to environment and a loose-surface layer formation that tends to minimizes biofilm surface. Therefore an additional condition has been obtained which governs the formation of finger-shaped biofilm. 2D numerical simulation has been performed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationIUTAM Symposium on Mechanics and Reliability of Actuating Materials
Subtitle of host publicationProceedigs of the IUTAM Symposium Held in Beijing, China, 1-3 September, 2004
Number of pages18
StatePublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameSolid Mechanics and its Applications
ISSN (Print)0925-0042

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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