"Bacteria are the new “smart” particles that can change their surface properties based on interactions with each other and their environment. Cell-to-cell communication between bacteria is not a new scientific discovery; however what is new is the fact that the charge on the bacterial surface is dependent on the cell’s ability to participate in the “conversation”. Bacteria change their surface charge during their growth cycle and bacteria that can “talk” to each have a different surface charge to those that are “silent”. This change in surface characteristics dictates how the cells may interact when forming biofilms or aggregates. Most bacteria survive in communities that are attached to each other or to a surface, so understanding how the cell-cell communication influences surface characteristics will ultimately lead to the development of innovative ways to manage biological processes such as the formation of biofilms and biofouling."