Biofilm dynamics in porous media

Bacteria being pumped into a charcoal filter

Team (Past, Present, & Future)

  • Postdoctoral Associate: (TBD)
  • Undergrad alumni: Valencia Pranata Northeastern University BS ChemE (2022) (project originator, Honors Engineering Research Award winner); Catherine Eng BS Northeastern University BioE, Naa Odarteifio Northeastern University BS ChemE


  • Bacteria trapped in water filters become chlorine/chloramine tolerant and propagate throughout drinking water systems while most work on this has been at the genomic or single species level

Hypothesis & Methods

  • Complex community effects on filtering and loss of disinfectant efficacy will be determined by measuring removal rates of E. coli, P. aeruginosa, and L. pneumophilia individually and in concert at various shear rates and end stage proteomics.

Potential outcomes & Impact

  • Improved understanding of how environmental aquifers filter water
  • Potential protocols for preventing bacteria contamination of water, prevention of Legionnaires
  • Improvement of undergraduate transport labs on flow through porous media

Publications, Presentations, and Patents


  • Funded by a grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health