Movies of swimming motility

Escherichia coli

Rhodobacter sphaeroides


Movies of swarming motility

Escherichia coli swarm

Salmonella typhmurium swarm

Serratia marcescens swarm

Movies of gliding motility


Mycoplasma mobile

Flavobacterium johnsoniae

Movies of Twitching motility

Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Other movies

Tethered bacteria

Escherichia coli patterns

Carpets and microchannels

Miscellaneous movies

Marvels of Bacterial Behavior - History & Physics of Bacterial Motion

Rowland Institute         Harvard University

Carpets and microchannels

Cells of Serratia marcescens adhere to a nonpolar surface and propel the adjacent fluid. If the surface is of a polystyrene latex bead or a small chip of a sheet of PDMS, the cells propel the bead or the chip. Isolated cells of E. coli move over a surface in right-hand spirals (when viewed from above the surface). When constrained by a microchannel over agar, the cells prefer to swim next to the agar.

Movies, bacterial carpets.

Visualization of flagella of cells of S. marcescens adsorbed to a PDMS surface.

Movement of 1 µm beads close to this surface.

Movement of 1 µm beads farther away.

Translation of a 10 µm latex bead driven by S. marcescens.

Translation of a rectangular chip of PDMS (a car, about 100 µm long).

Rotation of a triangular chip of PDMS tethered at one vertex (a wedge, about 50 µm long).

Movies, cells in microchannels.

Movement of cells of E. coli over agar at the right-hand-side of a PDMS 10 µm microchannel.

Movement of cells of E. coli over agar at the right-hand-side of a PDMS 3 µm microchannel.


Darnton, N., Turner, L., Breuer, K. and Berg, H.C. Moving fluid with bacterial carpets. Biophys J 86, 1863-1870 (2004).

DiLuzio, W.R., Turner, L., Mayer, M., Garstecki, P., Weibel, D.B., Berg, H.C. and Whitesides, G.M. Escherichia coli swim on the right-hand side. Nature 435, 1271-1274 (2005).

Hulme, S.E., DiLuzio, W.R., Shevkoplyas, S.S., Turner, L., Mayer, M., Berg, H.C., and Whitesides, G.M. Using ratchets and sorters to fractionate motile cells of Escherichia coli by length. Lab on a Chip 8, 1888-1895 (2008).