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Engineering reaction–diffusion networks with properties of neural tissue

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Abstract

We present an experimental system of networks of coupled non-linear chemical reactors, which we theoretically model within a reaction–diffusion framework. The networks consist of patterned arrays of diffusively coupled nanoliter-scale reactors containing the Belousov–Zhabotinsky (BZ) reaction. Microfluidic fabrication techniques are developed that provide the ability to vary the network topology and the reactor coupling strength and offer the freedom to choose whether an arbitrary reactor is inhibitory or excitatory coupled to its neighbor. This versatile experimental and theoretical framework can be used to create a wide variety of chemical networks. Here we design, construct and characterize chemical networks that achieve the complexity of central pattern generators (CPGs), which are found in the autonomic nervous system of a variety of organisms.

Graphical abstract: Engineering reaction–diffusion networks with properties of neural tissue

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Publication details

The article was received on 07 Nov 2017, accepted on 15 Dec 2017 and first published on 15 Dec 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7LC01187C
Citation: Lab Chip, 2018, Advance Article
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    Engineering reaction–diffusion networks with properties of neural tissue

    T. Litschel, M. M. Norton, V. Tserunyan and S. Fraden, Lab Chip, 2018, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C7LC01187C

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