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A Bayesian approach to modelling the impact of hydrodynamic shear stress on biofilm deformation

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Article numbere0195484
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>12/04/2018
<mark>Journal</mark>PLoS ONE
Issue number4
Number of pages21
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


We investigate the feasibility of using a surrogate-based method to emulate the deformation and detachment behaviour of a biofilm in response to hydrodynamic shear stress. The influence of shear force, growth rate and viscoelastic parameters on the patterns of growth, structure and resulting shape of microbial biofilms was examined. We develop a statistical modelling approach to this problem, using combination of Bayesian Poisson regression and dynamic linear models for the emulation. We observe that the hydrodynamic shear force affects biofilm deformation in line with some literature. Sensitivity results also showed that the expected number of shear events, shear flow, yield coefficient for heterotrophic bacteria and extracellular polymeric substance (EPS) stiffness per unit EPS mass are the four principal mechanisms governing the bacteria detachment in this study. The sensitivity of the model parameters is temporally dynamic, emphasising the significance of conducting the sensitivity analysis across multiple time points. The surrogate models are shown to perform well, and produced ≈ 480 fold increase in computational efficiency. We conclude that a surrogate-based approach is effective, and resulting biofilm structure is determined primarily by a balance between bacteria growth, viscoelastic parameters and applied shear stress.