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Bacteria: self-motile liquid crystals?

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DNMW03 - Optimal design of soft matter - including a celebration of Women in Materials Science (WMS)

We discuss recent work showing that the concepts of liquid crystal physics can give insight into the behaviour of colonies of bacteria. Dense bacterial layers show local nematic order and the appearance of associated topological defects can act as preferential sites for biofilm formation. Moreover less dense swimming bacterial suspensions can be focused by an underlying passive nematic, a step towards exploiting their energy for microfluidic transport.

Women in Materials Science

This talk is part of the Isaac Newton Institute Seminar Series series.

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