Bacteria Colonies Modify Their Shear and Compressive Mechanical Properties in Response to Different Growth Substrates

Jakub A. Kochanowski, Bobby Carroll, Merrill E. Asp, Emma C. Kaputa, Alison E. Patteson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Bacteria build multicellular communities termed biofilms, which are often encased in a self-secreted extracellular matrix that gives the community mechanical strength and protection against harsh chemicals. How bacteria assemble distinct multicellular structures in response to different environmental conditions remains incompletely understood. Here, we investigated the connection between bacteria colony mechanics and the colony growth substrate by measuring the oscillatory shear and compressive rheology of bacteria colonies grown on agar substrates. We found that bacteria colonies modify their own mechanical properties in response to shear and uniaxial compression in a manner that depends on the concentration of agar in their growth substrate. These findings highlight that mechanical interactions between bacteria and their microenvironments are an important element in bacteria colony development, which can aid in developing strategies to disrupt or reduce biofilm growth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalACS Applied Bio Materials
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Keywords

  • Biofilms
  • Compression-stiffening
  • Compressive stress
  • Mechanics
  • Rheology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • General Chemistry
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biochemistry, medical

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