The Freter model: A simple model of biofilm formation

Donald Jones, Hristo V. Kojouharov, Dung Le, Hal Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


A simple, conceptual model of biofilm formation, due to R. Freter et al. (1983), is studied analytically and numerically in both CSTR and PFR. Two steady state regimes are identified, namely, the complete washout of the microbes from the reactor and the successful colonization of both the wall and bulk fluid. One of these is stable for any particular set of parameter values and sharp and explicit conditions are given for the stability of each. The effects of adding an anti-microbial agent to the CSTR are examined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-152
Number of pages16
JournalJournal Of Mathematical Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 2003


  • Biofilm
  • Continuously stirred tank reactor
  • Fouling
  • Modeling
  • Plug flow reactor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Applied Mathematics


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