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Issue 21, 2016
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Dynamics of bacterial streamers induced clogging in microfluidic devices

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Abstract

Using a microfabricated porous media mimic platform, we investigated the clogging dynamics of bacterial biomass that accumulated in the device due to the formation of bacterial streamers. Particularly, we found the existence of a distinct clogging front which advanced via pronounced ‘stick-slip’ of the viscoelastic bacterial biomass over the solid surface of the micro pillar. Thus, the streamer, the solid surface, and the background fluidic media defined a clear three-phase front influencing these advancing dynamics. Interestingly, we also found that once the clogging became substantial, contrary to a static homogenous saturation state, the clogged mimic exhibited an instability phenomena marked by localized streamer breakage and failure leading to extended water channels throughout the mimic. These findings have implications for design and fabrication of biomedical devices and membrane-type systems such as porous balloon catheters, porous stents and filtration membranes prone to bacteria induced clogging as well as understanding bacterial growth and proliferation in natural porous media such as soil and rocks.

Graphical abstract: Dynamics of bacterial streamers induced clogging in microfluidic devices

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
21 Aug 2016
Accepted
19 Sep 2016
First published
19 Sep 2016

This article is Open Access

Lab Chip, 2016,16, 4091-4096
Article type
Communication

Dynamics of bacterial streamers induced clogging in microfluidic devices

M. Hassanpourfard, R. Ghosh, T. Thundat and A. Kumar, Lab Chip, 2016, 16, 4091
DOI: 10.1039/C6LC01055E

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