Published online by Cambridge University Press: 20 February 2018
We present a model for the force acting to fragment a biofilm-seeded microbial aggregate in shear flow, which we derive by coupling an existing model for the shape and orientation of a deforming ellipsoid with one for the surface force density on a solid ellipsoid. The model can be used to simulate the motion, shape, surface force density, and breakage of colloidal aggregates in shear flow. We apply the model to the case of exhaustive fragmentation of microbial aggregates in order to compute a post-fragmentation density function, indicating the likelihood of a fragmenting aggregate yielding daughter aggregates of a certain size.
EPK is supported by the Interdisciplinary Quantitative Biology Program at the BioFrontiers Institute, University of Colorado Boulder (NSF IGERT 1144807) and by an NSF GRFP (DGE 1144083). This work was supported in part by grant NSF-DMS 1225878 to DMB.