hosted by Ilka Bischofs-Pfeifer
Biofilms are structured communities formed by a single or multiple microbial species. Within biofilms, bacteria are embedded into extracellular matrix allowing them to build macroscopic objects. Within these structured communities, bacteria are protected against various external stresses including antibiotic treatment or reactive oxygen species produced by the immune system. While it is well established that biofilm formation protects bacteria, the underlying molecular mechanisms are multifaceted and poorly understood. One major challenge in the field is the fact that the molecular components are highly diverse between different species. Deciphering how physical interactions are affected by stress is a promising approach to obtain a more unified picture of how bacteria use biofilm formation to increase their resilience. In this talk, I discuss will how mechanical interactions and electrical properties govern biofilm formation and antibiotic tolerance.
Berenike Maier is Professor for Biophysics at the Institute for Biological Physics at University of Cologne. Her research focusses on the physics of bacterial systems. She studies how bacteria manipulate the mechanical and electrical properties of biofilms to enhance their resilience against external stresses, including antibiotic treatment and immune surveillance.