Numerical simulation of wrinkle morphology formation and the evolution of different Bacillus subtilis biofilms

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

Wrinkle morphology is a distinctive phenomenon observed in mature biofilms that are produced by a great number of bacteria. The wrinkle pattern depends on the mechanical properties of the agar substrate and the biofilm itself, governed by the extracellular matrix (ECM). Here we study the macroscopic structures and the evolution of Bacillus subtilis biofilm wrinkles using the commercial finite element software ABAQUS. A mechanical model and simulation are set up to analyze and evaluate bacteria biofilm's wrinkle characteristics. We uncover the wrinkle formation mechanism and enumerate the quantitative relationship between wrinkle structure and mechanical properties of biofilm and its substrate. Our work can be used to modify the wrinkle pattern and control the biofilm size.

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