A Dimensionally Reduced Model of Biofilm Growth Within a Flow Cell

Noah Ford*, David Chopp

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Biofilms are colonies of bacteria attached to surfaces. They play a critical role in many engineering and medical applications. Scientists study biofilm growth in flow cells but often have limited direct knowledge of the environmental conditions in the apparatus. Using fully resolved, numerical simulations to estimate conditions within a flow cell is computationally expensive. In this paper, we use asymptotic analysis to create a simulation of a biofilm system that has one growth-limiting substrate, and we show that this method runs quickly while maintaining similar accuracy to prior models. These equations can provide a better understanding of the environmental conditions in experiments and can establish the boundary conditions for further smaller-scale numerical simulations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number40
JournalBulletin of Mathematical Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020


  • Asymptotic approximation
  • Biofilms
  • Flow cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General Environmental Science
  • General Mathematics
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Neuroscience
  • Pharmacology
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Immunology


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