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Impacts of hydrodynamic conditions and microscale surface roughness on the critical conditions to develop and thickness of early-stage Pseudomonas putida biofilms
  • Judy Q. Yang,
  • Guanju Wei
Judy Q. Yang
University of Minnesota

Corresponding Author:judyyang@umn.edu

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Guanju Wei
University of Minnesota
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Biofilms can increase pathogenic contamination of drinking water, cause biofilm-related diseases, alter the sediment erosion rate, and degrade contaminants in wastewater. Compared with mature biofilms, biofilms in the early-stage have been shown to be more susceptible to antimicrobials and easier to remove. Mechanistic understanding of physical factors controlling early-stage biofilm growth is critical to predict and control biofilm development, yet such understanding is currently incomplete. Here, we reveal the impacts of hydrodynamic conditions and microscale surface roughness on the development of early-stage Pseudomonas putida biofilm through a combination of microfluidic experiments, numerical simulations, and fluid mechanics theories. We demonstrate that early-stage biofilm growth is suppressed under high flow conditions and that the critical local velocity for early-stage P. putida biofilms to develop is about 50 μm/s, similar to P. putida’s swimming speed. We further illustrate that microscale surface roughness promotes the growth of early-stage biofilms by increasing the area of the low-flow region. Furthermore, we show that the critical average shear stress, above which early-stage biofilms cease to form, is 0.9 Pa for rough surfaces, three times as large as the value for flat or smooth surfaces (0.3 Pa). The important control of flow conditions and microscale surface roughness on early-stage biofilm development, characterized in this study, will facilitate future predictions and managements of early-stage P. putida biofilm development on the surfaces of drinking water pipelines, blood vessels, and sediments in aquatic environments.
03 Jan 2023Submitted to Biotechnology and Bioengineering
03 Jan 2023Assigned to Editor
03 Jan 2023Submission Checks Completed
03 Jan 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
10 Feb 2023Reviewer(s) Assigned
09 Mar 2023Editorial Decision: Revise Major
28 Mar 20231st Revision Received
28 Mar 2023Assigned to Editor
28 Mar 2023Submission Checks Completed
28 Mar 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending