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Langmuir. 2014 Oct 21;30(41):12144-53. doi: 10.1021/la502491e. Epub 2014 Oct 8.

Fluid flow and particle dynamics inside an evaporating droplet containing live bacteria displaying chemotaxis.

Author information

1
Department of Chemical Engineering and ‡Department of Biotechnology, Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati , Guwahati 781039, Assam, India.

Abstract

Evaporation-induced particle deposition patterns like coffee rings provide easy visual identification that is beneficial for developing inexpensive and simple diagnostic devices for detecting pathogens. In this study, the effect of chemotaxis on such pattern formation has been realized experimentally in drying droplets of bacterial suspensions. We have investigated the velocity field, concentration profile, and deposition pattern in the evaporating droplet of Escherichia coli suspension in the presence and absence of nutrients. Flow visualization experiments using particle image velocimetry (PIV) were carried out with E. coli bacteria as biological tracer particles. Experiments were conducted for suspensions of motile (live) as well as nonmotile (dead) bacteria. In the absence of any nutrient gradient like sugar on the substrate, both types of bacterial suspension showed two symmetric convection cells and a ring like deposition of particles after complete evaporation. Interestingly, the droplet containing live bacterial suspension showed a different velocity field when the sugar was placed at the base of the droplet. This can be attributed to the chemoattractant nature of the sugar, which induced chemotaxis among live bacteria targeted toward the nutrient site. Deposition of the suspended bacteria was also displaced toward the nutrient site as the evaporation proceeded. Our experiments demonstrate that both velocity fields and concentration patterns can be altered by chemotaxis to modify the pattern formation in evaporating droplet containing live bacteria. These results highlight the role of bacterial chemotaxis in modifying coffee ring patterns.

PMID:
25229613
DOI:
10.1021/la502491e
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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