Until now, models of how bacterial colonies form by active appendages, so called type IV pili, were typically agent-based, see. for example here.
In this brand new paper, published today in PRL, we developed a continuum model of dense bacterial aggregates.
The model describes the process of aggregate formation of bacterial cells as an active phase separation phenomenon. We then study the coalescence behaviour of two colonies, a system we also studied before experimentally and with an agent based model (here).
I am happy that I could contribute to this project and want to thank the amazing Hui-Shun Kuan and Vasily Zaburdaev and Frank Jülicher for the great collaboration.
I am looking forward to see how this innovative tool can be used to learn more about bacterial colonies and their mechanics.