Filling an Emulsion Drop with Motile Bacteria

I. D. Vladescu*, E. J. Marsden, J. Schwarz-Linek, V. A. Martinez, J. Arlt, A. N. Morozov, D. Marenduzzo, M. E. Cates, W. C. K. Poon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We have measured the spatial distribution of motile Escherichia coli inside spherical water droplets emulsified in oil. At low cell concentrations, the cell density peaks at the water-oil interface; at increasing concentration, the bulk of each droplet fills up uniformly while the surface peak remains. Simulations and theory show that the bulk density results from a "traffic" of cells leaving the surface layer, increasingly due to cell-cell scattering as the surface coverage rises above similar to 10%. Our findings show similarities with the physics of a rarefied gas in a spherical cavity with attractive walls.

Original languageEnglish
Article number268101
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Volume113
Issue number26
Early online date22 Dec 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2014

Keywords

  • FLUID-DYNAMICS
  • IMAGE-ANALYSIS
  • SURFACE
  • MICROSCOPY
  • GEOMETRY

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