Self-trapping of a single bacterium in its own chemoattractant

Y. Tsori, P. G. De Gennes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Bacteria (e.g., E. coli) are very sensitive to certain chemoattractants (e.g., asparate) which they themselves produce. This leads to chemical instabilities in a uniform population. We discuss here the different case of a single bacterium, following the general scheme of Brenner, Levitov and Budrene. We show that in one and two dimensions (in a capillary or in a thin film) the bacterium can become self-trapped in its cloud of attractant. This should occur if a certain coupling constant g is larger than unity. We then estimate the reduced diffusion Deff of the bacterium in the strong-coupling limit, and find Deff ∼ g-1.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)599-602
Number of pages4
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 May 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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