Defining lag time in bacterial growth
The mathematics of bacterial lag time has received much attention in the last fifteen years. Lag time is regarded as a period of time, during which bacterial cells adjust to a new environment. During this time, biochemical processes within the individual cell occur in order to repair the cell and prepare it for growth. There are many applications of lag time study. In food science, one is interested in maximizing the lag time of bacterial cells that live on food in order to maximize its shelf life. In medicine, one is interested in lag time when administering antibiotics to an individual. We begin with the introduction of the concept of a bacterial growth curve. We move on to four definitions of lag time and review several models from the literature. We then introduce an n-compartmental system and its associated lag time. Finally, we give some conclusions and possible future work.