News & Events
Building a good model for bacteria on surfaces: motility, sensing, and collective properties
Speaker(s): Prof. Ramin Golestanian (Department of Physics, University of Oxford, UK)
When: 14 July 2016 (3:20 - 4:20pm)
Where: Experimental Medicine Building, Learning Studio (Level 1), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Type: Biophysics of Biofilms Symposium

Bacterial motility is a subtle subject as the physical governing rules at the relevant scale impose a multitude of constraints under which they need to operate. As such, the subject is fascinating even if we think about the simplest case of single bacteria swimming in normal fluid environments. As we bring in more features of bacterial motility, such as stochasticity e.g. in the form of run-and-tumble behaviour, response to external cues such as chemotaxis and phototaxis, interaction with EPS trail for surface-bound motility mechanisms etc, a physical description of the motion becomes more subtle and rich with emerging complexity. This richness peaks when we incoporate collective effects that involve populations of bacteria, which ultimately should lead us to a comprehesive physical understanding of bacterial biofilms.

In my talk, I start this programme by building fundamental theoretical concepts through models that are sufficiently simple to manifestly demostrate the main features. I cover many examples and increase the complexity of the phenomena until we finally arrive at a simple theoretical model that can help explain how early stages of bacterial biofilms are nucleated.