The Mechanical World of Bacteria

Cell. 2015 May 21;161(5):988-997. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2015.05.005.

Abstract

In the wild, bacteria are predominantly associated with surfaces as opposed to existing as free-swimming, isolated organisms. They are thus subject to surface-specific mechanics, including hydrodynamic forces, adhesive forces, the rheology of their surroundings, and transport rules that define their encounters with nutrients and signaling molecules. Here, we highlight the effects of mechanics on bacterial behaviors on surfaces at multiple length scales, from single bacteria to the development of multicellular bacterial communities such as biofilms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Adhesion
  • Biofilms
  • Biological Transport
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Escherichia coli / cytology
  • Escherichia coli / physiology*
  • Locomotion
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / cytology
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / physiology*