Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

How living matter self-organizes through chemical signals

04.07.2019

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization show new mechanism of self-organization of living matter.

Sensing each other through chemistry


Mixtures of producer and consumer particles can self-organize in many ways. From left to right: formation of small self-propelled molecules composed of just a few particles; complete separation of producers and consumers into distinct clusters; aggregation into a static cluster with precise composition; aggregation into a self-propelled comet-like cluster.

© MPIDS

Combining theory and computer simulations, the researchers studied the behaviour of mixtures of different particle species, which produce or consume a chemical signal to which they may in turn be attracted or repelled.

Depending on the characteristics of each species, as well as on the ratios in which the species are mixed, they found that the particles will spontaneously aggregate together or separate in a myriad of different configurations.

Mixtures of one producer species and one consumer species, for example, may completely separate into two distinct clusters under certain conditions, but under different conditions they may aggregate together into a cluster with a precisely defined composition. Even more spectacularly, these clusters may spontaneously start self-propelling in a comet-like fashion, with a close-packed group of producers being chased by a tail of consumers, or vice versa.

Breaking Newton’s third law

Indeed, according to Agudo-Canalejo and Golestanian, a peculiarity of these chemical-mediated interactions is that they effectively break Newton's third law of equal action and reaction: for example, a particle of one species may be attracted to a particle of the other species, but the second one may be repelled from the first one, so that one particle ends up chasing the other.

These and other peculiarities are a direct consequence of the chemical activity that characterizes living matter, and are responsible for the richness of the self-organization phenomena observed, which would be absent in a non-living system.

“We expect that our minimal model may be applied to a variety of problems in biology and engineering. The self-propelling clusters observed, for example, may be relevant to understand mechanisms of collective migration of cells or microorganisms in heterogeneous tissues or colonies. On a much smaller scale inside the cell, the model may explain why enzymes that participate in common catalytic pathways tend to co-localize, an observation that until now had no generic explanation,” says Jaime Agudo-Canalejo, first author of the study.

MPI director Ramin Golestanian adds: “We also envisage applications in the engineering of active materials, which may spontaneously assemble from synthetic particles that catalyze chemical reactions.”

Carolin Hoffrogge | Max-Planck-Institut für Dynamik und Selbstorganisation
Further information:
http://www.ds.mpg.de/3426119/190619_pm_prl_agudo_canalejo

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Tuning the energy levels of organic semiconductors
04.07.2019 | Technische Universität Dresden

nachricht Tiny supersonic jet injector accelerates nanoscale additive manufacturing
03.07.2019 | Georgia Institute of Technology

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Modelling leads to the optimum size for platinum fuel cell catalysts: Activity of fuel cell catalysts doubled

An interdisciplinary research team at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has built platinum nanoparticles for catalysis in fuel cells: The new size-optimized catalysts are twice as good as the best process commercially available today.

Fuel cells may well replace batteries as the power source for electric cars. They consume hydrogen, a gas which could be produced for example using surplus...

Im Focus: The secret of mushroom colors

Mushrooms: Darker fruiting bodies in cold climates

The fly agaric with its red hat is perhaps the most evocative of the diverse and variously colored mushroom species. Hitherto, the purpose of these colors was...

Im Focus: First results of the new Alphatrap experiment

Physicists at the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg report the first result of the new Alphatrap experiment. They measured the bound-electron g-factor of highly charged (boron-like) argon ions with unprecedented precision of 9 digits. In comparison with a new highly accurate quantum electrodynamic calculation they found an excellent agreement on a level of 7 digits. This paves the way for sensitive tests of QED in strong fields like precision measurements of the fine structure constant α as well as the detection of possible signatures of new physics. [Physical Review Letters, 27 June 2019]

Quantum electrodynamics (QED) describes the interaction of charged particles with electromagnetic fields and is the most precisely tested physical theory. It...

Im Focus: Experimental physicists redefine ultrafast, coherent magnetism

For the first time ever, experimental physicists have been able to influence the magnetic moment of materials in sync with their electronic properties. The coupled optical and magnetic excitation within one femtosecond corresponds to an acceleration by a factor of 200 and is the fastest magnetic phenomenon that has ever been observed.

Electronic properties of materials can be directly influenced via light absorption in under a femtosecond (10-15 seconds), which is regarded as the limit of...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer IDMT demonstrates its method for acoustic quality inspection at »Sensor+Test 2019« in Nürnberg

From June 25th to 27th 2019, the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology IDMT in Ilmenau (Germany) will be presenting a new solution for acoustic quality inspection allowing contact-free, non-destructive testing of manufactured parts and components. The method which has reached Technology Readiness Level 6 already, is currently being successfully tested in practical use together with a number of industrial partners.

Reducing machine downtime, manufacturing defects, and excessive scrap

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on UV LED Technologies & Applications – ICULTA 2020 | Call for Abstracts

24.06.2019 | Event News

SEMANTiCS 2019 brings together industry leaders and data scientists in Karlsruhe

29.04.2019 | Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

How living matter self-organizes through chemical signals

04.07.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

Tuning the energy levels of organic semiconductors

04.07.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

New record for flexible thin-film solar cells

04.07.2019 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>