Monotonic growth of motile microorganisms

Alisa S. Vadasz, Amanda Andrade, Kiat Yong Chen, Peter Vadasz, Emily Cope, Jeff G. Leid, Elizabeth Dobbs, Steven Zavodnyik

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The research results presented here are part of a more extensive effort regarding sustained bioconvection in porous media. Bioconvection is the phenomenon of gravity driven fluid motion due to buoyancy forces resulting from density differences between the fluid and motile micro-organisms suspended in the fluid. While the field of bio-convection in pure fluids emerged substantially over the past decade the corresponding effects of bio-convection in porous media received much less attention, despite the fact that micro-organisms grow naturally in porous environments; soil, food and human tissues serve as basic examples. The research focuses in two major new directions. The first deals with the theoretical and experimental investigation of bio-convection in porous media. The second major new direction is linked to the sustainability of the bioconvection motion. The existing work on bio-convection in both pure fluids and porous media exclude micro-organism growth during the bio-convection because the time scales concerned were very short. However, when the question of the sustainability of this convection over long times arises, microorganism growth has to be accounted for. If sustained bio-convection in porous media is possible it opens the avenue to investigate its impact on microbial proliferation in soil, food and human tissue, an important avenue for application of the theoretical results. Then, if bio-convection enhances microbial proliferation it may be undesirable in some cases, e.g. in food, or it might be desirable if specific micro-organisms that can be used for contaminated soil remediation will be "helped" by the bio-convection process to access contaminated regions in the soil. The theoretical and experimental results presented in this paper reflect the process of monotonic growth of motile microorganisms (e.g. the PAOI strain of Pseudomonas Aeruginosa) to be included in the bioconvection process. A new proposed model is shown to be the appropriate one to better reflect both conceptually as well as practically the microbial growth process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of 2006 ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, IMECE2006 - Biomedical and Safety Systems
PublisherAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
ISBN (Print)0791837904, 9780791837900
StatePublished - 2006
Event2006 ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, IMECE2006 - Chicago, IL, United States
Duration: Nov 5 2006Nov 10 2006

Publication series

NameASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, Proceedings (IMECE)


Other2006 ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, IMECE2006
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityChicago, IL

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering


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