Bacterial biofilms, while made up of microbial-scale objects, also function as meso- and macro-scale materials. In particular, macro-scale material properties determine how biofilms respond to large-scale mechanical stresses, e.g. fluid shear. Viscoelastic and other constitutive properties influence biomass structure (through growth and fluid shear stresses) by erosion and sloughing detachment. In this paper, using the immersed boundary method, biofilm is modelled by a system of viscoelastic, breakable springs embedded in a fluid flow, evolving according to the basic physical laws of conservation of mass and momentum. We demonstrate in the context of computer simulation biofilm deformation and detachment under fluid shear stress.

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