Spatial propagation of electrical signals in circular biofilms: A combined experimental and agent-based fire-diffuse-fire study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Bacterial biofilms are a risk to human health, playing critical roles in persistent infections. Recent studies have observed electrical signaling in biofilms and thus biofilms represent a new class of active excitable matter in which cell division is the active process and the spiking of the individual bacterial cells is the excitable process. Electrophysiological models have predominantly been developed to describe eukaryotic systems, but we demonstrate their use in understanding bacterial biofilms. Our agent-based fire-diffuse-fire (ABFDF) model successfully simulates the propagation of both centrifugal (away from the center) and centripetal (toward the center) electrical signals through biofilms of Bacillus subtilis. Furthermore, the ABFDF model allows realistic spatial positioning of the bacteria in two dimensions to be included in the fire-diffuse-fire model and this is the crucial factor that improves agreement with experiments. The speed of propagation is not constant and depends on the radius of the propagating electrical wave front. Centripetal waves are observed to move faster than centrifugal waves, which is a curvature driven effect and is correctly captured by our simulations.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPhysical Review E
Volume100
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Nov 2019

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Spatial propagation of electrical signals in circular biofilms: A combined experimental and agent-based fire-diffuse-fire study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this