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Flexible Flagella

Posted by Grace on Sep 5, 2017 8:58:19 AM

In Applications

A recent study has been released by brilliant researchers at Penn State. Upon careful research, it has been discovered that bacteria plays a role in viscosity. Solutions where bacteria is highly concentrated, it was observed that there was a decrease in viscosity. Initially thought to be a result of high concentrations, researchers dug deeper.

Stock image of bacteria

While viscosity decreases as bacteria ultimately thins the solutions, solutions without such a high concentration has also been observed to see the same effects. Termed as "bacterial tumbling," researchers are defining this as the random changes in bacteria that leads to, "reducing viscosity and effectively thinning the liquid." It is being suspected that the bacteria's flexible flagella plays a key role in allowing it to escape entrapment.

Why is this significant? This is a potentially great discovery for applications that focus on synthetic biology related materials including biomedical devices such as catheters and bio-films. A common issue that now comes up as we advance into bio-synthetic devices, is the formation of bacteria. From discovering the flexible flagella, researchers at Penn State have high hopes to analyze and find a solution to discover a way to completely control bacteria formations on such biomedical devices or even prevent potential damages.


Read the full article summarized in this blog post on the Penn State News site: http://news.psu.edu/story/472866/2017/06/27/research/flexible-flagella-fight-flow