Using a computational model for the Dictyostelium discoideum organism
Using a computational model for the Dictyostelium discoideum organism (slime mold), a system of autonomous microcapsules is de-signed and modeled. The microcapsule system has the task of picking up, sorting, and transporting cargo on a guiding adhesive stripe. The slime mold model is ideal for this application: it is built from groups of individual cells on a substrate, which are modeled as de-formable ellipsoids; each cell is sensitive to propagated signals . herein, the signal transduction and energy regulator molecule, cAMP; and, there are two cell types . the regular cells, and the pace-making cells, or, the signal-generating cells, which differ in adhe-sion, stiffness, and viscosity from the regular cells. The pace-making cells move along the stripe, pulling with them the regular cells . the cargo. As in the slime mold organism, the cells sort based upon adhesive differences, forming the desired cell train. With recent advances in the fabrication of cell-like structures, this system could be used to autonomously transport and sort both inorganic and organic materials.
Updated: Aug, 2011