Engineering reaction-diffusion networks with properties of neural tissue

Thomas Litschel, Michael M. Norton, Vardges Tserunyan, Seth Fraden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)714-722
Number of pages9
JournalLab on a Chip
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 7 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Biochemistry
  • General Chemistry
  • Biomedical Engineering


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