(316a) Invited Speaker: Microbial Biofilms: Structure, Transport, and Dynamics

Wilking, J., Montana State University
Most micro-organisms, including bacteria, fungi, and archaea, exist in surface-adherent, multicellular communities known as “biofilms”. Microbes in these films experience enhanced antibiotic resistance and improved resource processing, among other benefits. Biofilms are crucial for global carbon and nitrogen cycling and the production of industrial bioproducts and are also implicated in myriad problems including biomedical infections, food and drug contamination, and oil pipeline corrosion. Yet, despite their widespread importance, the physical properties and collective dynamics of microbial biofilmsremain poorly understood. Here, I will describe our experimental efforts to understand biofilm mechanical properties and community dynamics, as well as our recent efforts to develop technologies for structuring synthetic biofilms.