Original Article | Open Access
A Mixed-Culture Model of a Probiotic Biofilm Control System
We present a mathematical model and computer simulations for the control of a pathogenic biofilm by a probiotic biofilm. This is a substantial extension of a previous model of control of a pathogenic biofilm by microbial control agents that are suspended in the aqueous bulk phase (H. Khassehkhan and H.J. Eberl, Comp. Math. Meth. Med, 9(1) (2008), pp. 47–67). The mathematical model is a system of double-degenerate diffusion–reaction equations for the microbial biomass fractions probiotics, pathogens and inert bacteria, coupled with convection–diffusion–reaction equations for two growth controlling substrates, protonated lactic acids and hydrogen ions (pH). The latter are produced by the bacteria and become detrimental at high concentrations. In simulation studies, we find that the site of attachment of probiotics in the flow channel is crucial for success and efficacy of the probiotic control mechanism.
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