Context : This PDRA is part of a large project (BEBOP, 2019-2024) funded by the European Research Council. The goal of BEBOP is to figure out how we can use bacteria to control the properties of porous structures (e.g. porosity, permeability). We envision that this will unlock a new generation of biotechnologies, such as self-repairing construction materials or self-cleaning bioreactors. The main scientific obstacle to this technology is the lack of understanding of the biophysical mechanisms associated with the development of bacterial populations within complex porous structures. Therefore, the first scientific objective of BEBOP is to gain insight into how fluid flow, transport phenomena and bacterial communities (biofilms) interact within connected heterogeneous structures. To this end, we will combine microfluidic and 3D printed micro-bioreactor experiments; fluorescence and X-ray imaging; high performance computing bringing together CFD, individual-based models and pore network approaches. The second scientific objective of BEBOP is to create the primary building blocks toward a control theory of bacteria in porous media and to construct a demonstrator bioreactor for permeability control.

More information : BEBOP_PDRA_Microfluidics.pdf