Creating reconfigurable materials using ``Colonies’’ of oscillating polymer gels

Show simple item record Deb, Debabrata Dayal, Pratyush Kuksenok, Olga Balazs, Anna C.
dc.contributor.other Bulletin of the American Physical Society
dc.coverage.spatial Baltimore, US 2014-04-24T16:44:42Z 2014-04-24T16:44:42Z 2013-05
dc.identifier.citation Deb, Debabrata; Dayal, Pratyush; Kuksenok, Olga and Balazs, Anna C., “Creating reconfigurable materials using ``Colonies’’ of oscillating polymer gels”, in Bulletin of the American Physical Society, Baltimore, US, URL:, vol. 58, No. 1., Mar. 20, 2013. en_US
dc.description.abstract Species ranging from single-cell organisms to social insects can undergo auto-chemotaxis, where the entities move towards a chemo-attractant that they themselves emit. This mode of signaling allows the organisms to form large-scale structures. Using computational modeling, we show that millimeter-sized polymer gels can display similar auto-chemotaxis. In particular, we demonstrate that gels undergoing the self-oscillating Belousov-Zhabotinsky (BZ) reaction not only respond to a chemical signal from the surrounding solution, but also emit this signal and thus, multiple gel pieces can spontaneously self-aggregate. We focus on the collective behavior of ``colonies'' of BZ gels and show that communication between the individual pieces critically depends on all the neighboring gels. We isolate the conditions at which the BZ gels can undergo a type of self-recombining: if a larger gel is cut into distinct pieces that are moved relatively far apart, then their auto-chemotactic behavior drives them to move and autonomously recombine into a structure resembling the original, uncut sample. These findings reveal that the BZ gels can be used as autonomously moving building blocks to construct multiple structures and thus, provide a new route for creating dynamically reconfigurable materials. en_US
dc.description.statementofresponsibility by Debabrata Deb, Pratyush Dayal, Olga Kuksenok and Anna C. Balazs
dc.format.extent Vol. 58, No. 1
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher American Physical Society (APS) en_US
dc.subject Auto-chemotaxis en_US
dc.subject Belousov-Zhabotinsky en_US
dc.subject Chemo-attractant en_US
dc.subject Reconfigurable en_US
dc.subject Single-cell en_US
dc.title Creating reconfigurable materials using ``Colonies’’ of oscillating polymer gels en_US
dc.type Article en_US

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