Publications in Scientific Journals:

A. Mathijssen, N. Figueroa-Morales, G. Junot, E. Clement, A. Lindner, A. Zöttl:
"Oscillatory surface rheotaxis of swimming E. coli bacteria";
Nature Communications, 10 (2019), 3434.

English abstract:
Bacterial contamination of biological channels, catheters or water resources is a major threat to public health, which can be amplified by the ability of bacteria to swim upstream. The mechanisms of this `rheotaxis´, the reorientation with respect to flow gradients, are still poorly understood. Here, we follow individual E. coli bacteria swimming at surfaces under shear flow using 3D Lagrangian tracking and fluorescent flagellar labelling. Three transitions are identified with increasing shear rate: Above a first critical shear rate, bacteria shift to swimming upstream. After a second threshold, we report the discovery of an oscillatory rheotaxis. Beyond a third transition, we further observe coexistence of rheotaxis along the positive and negative vorticity directions. A theoretical analysis explains these rheotaxis regimes and predicts the corresponding critical shear rates. Our results shed light on bacterial transport and reveal strategies for contamination prevention, rheotactic cell sorting, and microswimmer navigation in complex flow environments.

"Official" electronic version of the publication (accessed through its Digital Object Identifier - DOI)

Created from the Publication Database of the Vienna University of Technology.