Shewanella oneidensis is a metal reducing bacterium, which is of interest for bioremediation and clean energy applications. S. oneidensis biofilms play a critical role in several situations such as in microbial energy harvesting devices. Here, we use a microfluidic device to quantify the effects of hydrodynamics on the biofilm morphology of S. oneidensis. For different rates of fluid flow through a complex microfluidic device, we studied the spatiotemporal dynamics of biofilms, and we quantified several morphological features such as spatial distribution, cluster formation and surface coverage. We found that hydrodynamics resulted in significant differences in biofilm dynamics. The baffles in the device created regions of low and high flow in the same device. At higher flow rates, a non-uniform biofilm develops, due to unequal advection in different regions of the microchannel. However, at lower flow rates, a more uniform biofilm evolved. This depicts competition between adhesion events, growth and fluid advection. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) revealed that higher production of extra-cellular polymeric substances (EPS) occurred at higher flow velocities.

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