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Biofilm Streamer Formation in a Porous Microfluidic Device Open Access


Other title
Microfluidic Devices
Porous Media
Biofilm Streamers
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Valiei, Amin
Supervisor and department
Thundat, Thomas (Chemical and Materials Engineering)
Examining committee member and department
Nazemifard, Neda (Chemical and Materials Engineering)
Thundat, Thomas (Chemical and Materials Engineering)
Liu, Yang (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering
Chemical Engineering
Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
Biofilm formation in porous media is of significant importance in many environmental and industrial processes such as bioremediation, oil recovery, and wastewater treatment. In the present study, we fabricated a porous media mimic inside a microfluidic device to observe the growth of bacteria in a porous environment. Here, we report the formation of filamentous structures between the porous structures which are known as streamers. Streamers are made from Polymeric Substance (EPS) and are tethered at one or both ends to a surface, while the rest of the structure floats in the aqueous media. We studied evolution of streamers in different flow rates and identified a tangible link between hydrodynamic conditions and development of these filamentous structures. Our results show that hydrodynamic conditions not only play a key role in determining the formation and stability of the streamers, but also influence their morphology and distribution. These observations, which reveal salient features of biofilm formation in porous media, could open up new avenues for understanding biofilm dynamics in complex natural conditions.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
Citation for previous publication
Amin Valiei , Aloke Kumar , Partha P. Mukherjee , Yang Liu and Thomas Thundat; A web of streamers: biofilm formation in a porous microfluidic device; Lab Chip, 2012,12, 5133-5137

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