Commun. Comput. Phys.,
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Volume 4.

Phase-Field Models for Biofilms II. 2-D Numerical Simulations of Biofilm-Flow Interaction

Tianyu Zhang 1, Nick Cogan 1, Qi Wang 2*

1 Department of Mathematics, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306-4510, USA.
2 Department of Mathematics, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306-4510, USA; and School of Mathematics, Nankai University, Tianjin 300071, China.

Received 10 September 2007; Accepted (in revised version) 20 October 2007
Available online 27 February 2008


We study the biofilm-flow interaction resulting in biofilm growth, deformation and detachment phenomena in a cavity and shear flow using the phase field model developed recently \cite{Zhang&C&W2007}. The growth of the biofilm and the biofilm-flow interaction in various flow and geometries are simulated using an extended Newtonian constitutive model for the biofilm mixture in 2-D. The model predicts growth patterns consistent with experimental findings with randomly distributed initial biofilm colonies. Shear induced deformation, and detachment in biofilms is simulated in a shear cell. Rippling, streaming, and ultimate detachment phenomena in biofilms are demonstrated in the simulations, respectively, in a shear cell. Possible merging of detached biofilm blobs in oscillatory shear is observed in simulations as well. Detachment due to the density variation is also investigated shedding light on the possible bacteria induced detachment.

AMS subject classifications: 65M06, 76D05, 76A05, 76T30, 76Z05, 92C05

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Key words: Biofilm, Cahn-Hilliard equation, phase filed, finite difference method, multiphase flow.

*Corresponding author.
Email: (T. Zhang), (N. Cogan), (Q. Wang)

The Global Science Journal