A new mathematical model to aid the study of biofilm formation on biomaterials
Most bacteria naturally form biofilms on surfaces. These self-organised cooperative community arrangements in which the bacteria are embedded in a self-produced polymer matrix enhance the bacteria's survival. Growth of biofilms on implanted medical devices such as the commonly used intravascular catheters, urinary catheters and orthopaedic implants is a significant source of healthcare-associated infections. Furthermore, the infections are not treatable with antibiotics alone. The EU-funded MATBFOB project is developing a model of the growth of bacterial biofilm. Following an experimental investigation to determine relevant model parameters, MATBFOB will develop the mathematical model, taking into account interactions between the bacteria and the biomaterial as well as the rate of nutrient uptake. This work will aid in the substrate design of surgical implants.
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