Curved Cracks

This poster describes curved crack patterns that form in drying films containing bacteria.

When mixtures of particles and fluids dry, they typically leave a pattern of straight cracks. Here researchers explore what happens when the drying film contains bacteria from the family E. coli. Instead of straight cracks, the films form curved ones. With bacteria that rotate or tumble, the crack pattern is spiral-like. With bacteria that swim, the remaining pattern consists of circular cracks. Thus, the motility of the bacteria affects how cracks form and spread. (Image and research credit: Z. Liu et al.)

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