Physikalisches Kolloquium: Bacterial colonies as active materials

Apr 21
21. April 2021 12:00 Uhr bis 13:00 Uhr

Bacterial colonies as active materials

Cellular aggregates are common in many biological settings, ranging from bacterial biofilms to organoids and tumors. Individual cells forming these aggregates are intrinsically active and exert forces on their environment resulting in cell motility and cell aggregation. Many bacterial species use long flexible and retractile filaments called type IV pili to attach to surfaces and other cells. Cycles of growth, attachment, retraction and detachment of the pili generate active force that mediates cell motility and colony formation. In this talk, using Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacteria as a model example, we will go all the way from describing the motility of individual cells to the viscoelastic material properties of colonies in theory, numerical simulations, and experiments. We will see how the process of colony formation can be understood as an active phase separation, and how the dynamics of pili forces turnover determines the viscoelastic behavior of bacterial aggregates. With our accumulated knowledge we are approaching the point where the rheological properties of complex living materials could be put into the rigorous theoretical framework and also tested experimentally.

Sprecher: Prof. Dr. Vasily Zaburdaev, LS für Mathematik in den Lebenswissenschaften, FAU

Kontakt: Department Physik

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Kenncode: 948710
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Kenncode: 948710
Meeting-ID: 667 0026 4537