Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 45, 2013
Previous Article Next Article

Motility fractionation of bacteria by centrifugation

Author affiliations


Centrifugation is a widespread laboratory technique used to separate mixtures into fractions characterized by a specific size, weight or density. We demonstrate that centrifugation can also be used to separate swimming cells having different motilities. To do this we study self-propelled bacteria under the influence of an external centrifugal field. Using dynamic image correlation spectroscopy we measure the spatially resolved motility of bacteria after centrifugation. A significant gradient in swimming-speeds is observed for increasing centrifugal speeds. Our results can be reproduced by a model that treats bacteria as “hot” colloidal particles having a diffusion coefficient that depends on the swimming speed.

Graphical abstract: Motility fractionation of bacteria by centrifugation

Back to tab navigation

Supplementary files

Publication details

The article was received on 02 May 2013, accepted on 27 Sep 2013 and first published on 27 Sep 2013

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C3SM51223A
Citation: Soft Matter, 2013,9, 10885-10890
  •   Request permissions

    Motility fractionation of bacteria by centrifugation

    C. Maggi, A. Lepore, J. Solari, A. Rizzo and R. Di Leonardo, Soft Matter, 2013, 9, 10885
    DOI: 10.1039/C3SM51223A

Search articles by author