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Biofilm Streamer Formation in a Porous Microfluidic Device

  • Author / Creator
    Valiei, Amin
  • 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.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    2013-06
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R3F408
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
    English
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
    Master's
  • Department
    • Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering
  • Specialization
    • Chemical Engineering
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Thundat, Thomas (Chemical and Materials Engineering)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Thundat, Thomas (Chemical and Materials Engineering)
    • Nazemifard, Neda (Chemical and Materials Engineering)
    • Liu, Yang (Civil and Environmental Engineering)