Microbial motility involvement in biofilm structure formation - A 3D modelling study

C. Picioreanu, J. U. Kreft, M. Klausen, J. A.J. Haagensen, T. Tolker-Nielsen, S. Molin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

71 Scopus citations


A computational model explaining formation of mushroom-like biofilm colonies is proposed in this study. The biofilm model combines for the first time cell growth with twitching motility in a three-dimensional individual-based approach. Model simulations describe the tendency of motile cells to form flat biofilms spreading out on the substratum, in contrast with the immotile variants that form only round colonies. These computational results are in good qualitative agreement with the experimental data obtained from Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms grown in flowcells. Simulations reveal that motile cells can possess a serious ecological advantage by becoming less affected by mass transfer limitations. Twitching motility alone appears to be insufficient to generate mushroom-like biofilm structures with caps on stalks. Rather, a substrate limitation-induced detachment of motile cells followed by reattachment could explain this intriguing effect leading to higher-level biofilm structure. © IWA Publishing 2007.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationWater Science and Technology
Number of pages7
StatePublished - Jun 5 2007
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Generated from Scopus record by KAUST IRTS on 2022-09-13

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Environmental Engineering


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