Led by Eleonora Secchi

Biofilms are consortia of bacteria that grow on surfaces, embedded in a self-secreted polymeric matrix. The matrix distinguishes the properties of biofilm bacteria from those of individual bacteria suspended in liquid, in particular, protecting them from antibiotics and biocides and mechanical insults. Furthermore, the mechanical properties of the biofilm, conferred by the matrix, are fundamental for biofilm formation, survival, and evolutionary success.

The research of the bioMatter Microfluidics Unit aims to understand the physical mechanisms and environmental factors controlling surface colonization and biofilm formation in fluids and on moist surfaces. We use a combination of microfluidics and cutting-edge visualization techniques to quantify biofilm structure and mechanical properties, with the ultimate goal of linking their physical structure to their function in the environment.