Special Issue "Physics and Mechanics of Biofilms: Modelling and Experimental Characterizations"

A special issue of Processes (ISSN 2227-9717). This special issue belongs to the section "Biological Systems".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2018).

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Tianyu Zhang Website E-Mail
Department of Mathematical Sciences, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT, 59717-2400, USA
Interests: mathematical modelling of biofilm and material science; scientific computation; numerical analysis
Guest Editor
Dr. Jinju Chen Website E-Mail
School of Engineering, Stephenson Building, Newcastle University, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK
Interests: mechanics and physics of biofilms; cell-materials interactions; modelling and simulations

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Most microbial species in nature live in the form of biofilms, which are described as a multicellular consortium of microbial cells that are attached to a surface and encased in a self-secreted, extracellular polymeric matrix. The study of biofilms represents a radical new way of understanding the microbiology of virtually everything around us, including problems that afflict industry, such as biofouling, serious public health issues, as well as constructive use of biofilms, such as waste water treatment and microbial fuel cells. In particular, understanding the physics and mechanics of biofilms plays a crucial role in almost every aspects of biofilm-related applications.

The development of a biofilm is a complicated process, and understanding it requires both experimental and modeling approaches. Experiments provide directly-measured qualitative or quantitative characterizations of biofilm properties that are essential to reveal biofilm formation process. Mathematical models translate the conceptual understanding of the biofilm system into mathematical terms, and solutions are obtained by using available mathematical or statistical tools.  The computational models enable the prediction of bacteria adhesion, biofilm formation and mechanics of biofilms in various conditions.  In recent years, there has been fast development in both experimental and modeling study of biofilms, providing an abundance of information of physics of biofilms at many different scales and more sophisticated and accurate models. There are still a lot of opportunities and challenges in the field of biofilm study, and this Special Issue on “Physics and Mechanics of Biofilms: Modelling and Experimental Characterizations” aims to bring together recent advances, and invites original contributions and one review paper, which can add significant value to biofilm research.

Dr. Tianyu Zhang
Dr. Jinju Chen
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Processes is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Please note that for papers submitted after 31 December 2019 an APC of 1400 CHF applies. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Biofilm modeling
  • Biofilm mechanics
  • Multispecies biofilms
  • Medical biofilms
  • Bacteria adhesion

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Modelling the Nanomechanical Responses of Biofilms Grown on the Indenter Probe
Processes 2018, 6(7), 84; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr6070084 - 02 Jul 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
Biofilms have a profound impact on the environment, human health and industrial systems. In order to manage and control them, it is important to measure their mechanical properties intact. Therefore, it has been proposed to grow the biofilms on the atomic force microscope [...] Read more.
Biofilms have a profound impact on the environment, human health and industrial systems. In order to manage and control them, it is important to measure their mechanical properties intact. Therefore, it has been proposed to grow the biofilms on the atomic force microscope prior to nanoindentation tests with the same probe. However, for nanoindentation of biofilm grown on spherical indenter itself, the existing nanoindentation models become invalid. Therefore, modified models have been proposed to describe the nanoindentation response of biofilm grown on a sphere based on finite element modelling. It was found that the applicability of the models depends on the biofilm thickness and constitutive mechanical models adopted for biofilms. The models developed here would enable more reliable determination of viscoelastic properties of biofilms that grow intact on the indenter itself. Full article
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Open AccessPerspective
Application of Laser-Induced Fluorescence in Functional Studies of Photosynthetic Biofilms
Processes 2018, 6(11), 227; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr6110227 - 19 Nov 2018
Abstract
Biofilms are a ubiquitous form of life for microorganisms. Photosynthetic biofilms such as microphytobenthos (MPB) and biological soil crusts (BSC) play a relevant ecological role in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, respectively. On the other hand, photosynthetic epilithic biofilms (PEB) are major players in [...] Read more.
Biofilms are a ubiquitous form of life for microorganisms. Photosynthetic biofilms such as microphytobenthos (MPB) and biological soil crusts (BSC) play a relevant ecological role in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, respectively. On the other hand, photosynthetic epilithic biofilms (PEB) are major players in the microbial-induced decay of stone structures of cultural heritage. The use of fluorescence techniques, namely, pulse-amplitude-modulated fluorometry, was crucial to understanding the photophysiology of these microbial communities, since they made it possible to measure biofilms’ photosynthetic activity without disturbing their delicate spatial organization within sediments or soils. The use of laser-induced fluorescence (LIF) added further technical advantages, enabling measurements to be made at a considerable distance from the samples, and under daylight. In this Perspective, we present state-of-the-art LIF techniques, show examples of the application of LIF to MPB and present exploratory results of LIF application to BSC, as well as to PEB colonizing stone structures of cultural heritage. Thereafter, we discuss the perspectives of LIF utilization in environmental research and monitoring, in cultural heritage conservation and assessment, and in biotechnological applications of photosynthetic biofilms. Full article
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