5 years ago

Photo-Controlled Waves and Active Locomotion

Photo-Controlled Waves and Active Locomotion
Irving R. Epstein, Qingyu Gao
Waves of chemical concentration, created by the interaction between reaction and diffusion, occur in a number of chemical systems far from equilibrium. In appropriately chosen polymer gels, these waves generate mechanical forces, which can result in locomotion. When a component of the system is photosensitive, light can be used to modulate and control these waves. In this Concept article, we examine various forms of photo-control of such systems, focusing particularly on the Belousov–Zhabotinsky oscillating chemical reaction. The phenomena we consider include image storage and image processing, feedback-control and feedback-induced clustering of waves, and phototropic and photophobic locomotion. Several of these phenomena have analogues in or potential applications to biological systems. Making waves: This article addresses how light can be used to control reaction–diffusion waves and wave-driven active locomotion. Inhomogeneous illumination of a gel containing the constituents of an oscillating chemical reaction can be used to generate unidirectional and reciprocating locomotion of the gel, phenomena analogous to biological crawling motion and round-trip migration.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1002/chem.201700725

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