5-8 December 2022
Tagungszentrum an der Sternwarte, Göttingen
Europe/Berlin timezone

Biological Applications of the Thin-Film-Equation: From cellular motility to lateral spreading of biofilms

7 Dec 2022, 09:45
Tagungszentrum an der Sternwarte, Göttingen

Tagungszentrum an der Sternwarte, Göttingen



Karin John (Université Grenoble-Alpes, CNRS, LIPhy, 38000 Grenoble, France)


In biological systems activity can manifest itself in different forms; as individual motility or as growth and production processes. I will present two different applications of the thin film equation coupled to active processes.
In both scenarios, the (reductionist's) model equations represent a gradient dynamics derived from a potential energy supplemented by bioactive terms which break the symmetry of the gradient dynamics.

In the first scenario, I introduce a model for invidual cell motiliy driven by active stress. Eukaryotic cells may translocate on homogeneous substrates by employing their cytoskeleton, an assembly of polar filaments and molecular motors.
I will discuss this model within the context bistability observed in keratocytes, which may coexist as immotile and motile cells.

In the second scenario, I will introduce a model for lateral biofilm spreading. When encountering surfaces or interfaces, many bacteria transition from a planktonic to a community lifestyle. The thereby formed bacterial colonies grow by cell division and spread as flat films along the interface. Here I will highlight the importance of passive surface forces and osmotic fluxes, compared to individual bacterial motility, for biofilm spreading on agar substrates under air.

Primary author

Karin John (Université Grenoble-Alpes, CNRS, LIPhy, 38000 Grenoble, France)


Fenna Stegemerten (WWU Münster) Sarah Trinschek (FH Münster University of Applied Sciences) Sigolène Lecuyer (Université Lyon, ENS de Lyon, Université Claude Bernard, CNRS, Laboratoire de Physique, 69342 Lyon, France)

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