Cellular automaton for bacterial towers

J. O. Indekeu* (Corresponding Author), C. V. Giuraniuc (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference article

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A simulation approach to the stochastic growth of bacterial towers is presented, in which a non-uniform and finite nutrient supply essentially determines the emerging structure through elementary chemotaxis. The method is based on cellular automata and we use simple, microscopic, local rules for bacterial division in nutrient-rich surroundings. Stochastic nutrient diffusion, while not crucial to the dynamics of the total population, is influential in determining the porosity of the bacterial tower and the roughness of its surface. As the bacteria run out of food, we observe an exponentially rapid saturation to a carrying capacity distribution, similar in many respects to that found in a recently proposed phenomenological hierarchical population model, which uses heuristic parameters and macroscopic rules. Complementary to that phenomenological model, the simulation aims at giving more microscopic insight into the possible mechanisms for one of the recently much studied bacterial morphotypes, known as "towering biofilm", observed experimentally using confocal laser microscopy. A simulation suggesting a mechanism for biofilm resistance to antibiotics is also shown.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-26
Number of pages13
JournalPhysica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications
Volume336
Issue number1-2
Early online date6 Feb 2004
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2004
EventProceedings of the XVIII Max Born Symposium at Statistical Physics - Ladek Zdroj, Poland
Duration: 22 Sep 200325 Sep 2003

Keywords

  • Bacteria
  • Biofilm
  • Fractal
  • Growth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mathematical Physics
  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics

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