The mechanical world of bacteria

Alexandre Persat, Carey D. Nadell, Minyoung Kevin Kim, Francois Ingremeau, Albert Siryaporn, Knut Drescher, Ned S. Wingreen, Bonnie Lynn Bassler, Zemer Gitai, Howard A. Stone

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

362 Scopus citations


In the wild, bacteria are predominantly associated with surfaces as opposed to existing as free-swimming, isolated organisms. They are thus subject to surface-specific mechanics, including hydrodynamic forces, adhesive forces, the rheology of their surroundings, and transport rules that define their encounters with nutrients and signaling molecules. Here, we highlight the effects of mechanics on bacterial behaviors on surfaces at multiple length scales, from single bacteria to the development of multicellular bacterial communities such as biofilms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)988-997
Number of pages10
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 30 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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