Two-fluid model of biofilm disinfection

Bull Math Biol. 2008 Apr;70(3):800-19. doi: 10.1007/s11538-007-9280-3. Epub 2007 Dec 11.


We consider a dynamic model of biofilm disinfection in two dimensions. The biofilm is treated as a viscous fluid immersed in a fluid of less viscosity. The bulk fluid moves due to an imposed external parabolic flow. The motion of the fluid is coupled to the biofilm inducing motion of the biofilm. Both the biofilm and the bulk fluid are dominated by viscous forces, hence the Reynolds number is negligible and the appropriate equations are Stokes equations. The governing partial differential equations are recast as boundary integral equations using a version of the Lorenz reciprocal relationship. This allows for robust treatment of the simplified fluid/biofilm motion. The transport of nutrients and antimicrobials, which depends directly on the velocities of the fluid and biofilm, is also included. Disinfection of the bacteria is considered under the assumption that the biofilm growth is overwhelmed by disinfection.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Physiological Phenomena
  • Biofilms / drug effects*
  • Biofilms / growth & development*
  • Computer Simulation
  • Disinfectants / pharmacology*
  • Models, Biological*


  • Disinfectants