Disrupting Bacteria Accumulation in Heterogeneous Flow Structures By Chemotaxis

Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Pietro De Anna, Yutaka Yawata, Roman Stocker and Ruben Juanes, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, United States
Subsurface bacteria influence the environmental dynamics by controlling the complex bio-geo-chemical reactions driving many important processes (such as geothermal, EOR, or bioremediation). The large-scale consequences result from the microscale interactions occurring within the subsurface heterogeneous host medium. At these microscopic scales, the subsurface environment is very heterogeneous, and both reactants and microbes experience a huge heterogeneity of chemical and physical gradients. Using microscopy and microfluidics we assess the relationship between the heterogeneous flow within a simplified analogous porous medium and the characteristic microorganism resident time and transport properties within the host medium.