Glyco@Seminar: Cécile Bidan

on the May 7, 2019

May 7th, 11:00 am
Cécile Bidan from Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces (Potsdam, Germany) will give a talk about “Principles of Matrix Architecture in Biofilms: a Top-Down Approach”.

Biofilms are complex 3D structures forming as bacteria get embedded in a matrix of self-produced protein- and sugar-based fibres. These living 3D structures impair human health and industrial processes in numerous ways and understanding their formation and architecture is crucial for biofilms prevention and destruction. Whereas many studies focus on the emergence of these complex structures at the molecular and cell levels, quantitative methods designed to characterize the formation of entire biofilms and the underlying biophysical principles are lacking.
To bridge this gap, we first culture E.coli bacteria on nutritive agar plates for a few days to obtain three-dimensional biofilms containing both amyloid (protein) and cellulose (sugar) fibres. Our experimental strategies focus on i) controlling the physical environment of the growing biofilm, in particular the mechanical and geometrical cues and ii) characterizing the architecture of the biofilms using multimodal approaches spanning different length scales. For example, video-microscopy is used to monitor biofilm growth and investigate the emergence of the macroscopic wrinkling patterns on surfaces with different water contents, while composition and structural analysis techniques based on light spectroscopy and X-ray scattering are currently adapted to study biofilm matrix at the nanoscale with a spatiotemporal resolution.
In the future, comparing biofilm wrinkling patterns and structural data with simple experimental, theoretical and numerical models of thin layers growing on a thick substrate will help to estimate the contribution of mechanical principles in biofilm morphogenesis, and to identify the matrix components and physical cues essential to shape biofilms with given wrinkling patterns.


Published on May 16, 2019

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