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Biotechnol Bioeng. 1986 Mar;28(3):314-28.

A multispecies biofilm model.

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Swiss Federal Institute for Water Resources and Water Pollution Control (EAWAG), CH-8600 Dübendorf, Switzerland.


Using a continuum approach and observing conservation principles, an analytical mathematical model of microbial interaction in biofilms was developed. The model predicts changes in biofilm thickness and describes the dynamics and spatial distribution of microbial species and substrates in the film. It allows for biomass detachment due to shear stress and sloughing, external mass transfer limitations, as well as variations in substrate concentrations in the bulk liquid. A computer implementation of the model is provided using an example of heterotrophicautotrophic competition to illustrate how the observed phenomena can be numerically reproduced and indicating how they might affect overall biofilm performance.


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