Next Article in Journal
Productivity and Community Composition of Low Biomass/High Silica Precipitation Hot Springs: A Possible Window to Earth’s Early Biosphere?
Next Article in Special Issue
The Informational Substrate of Chemical Evolution: Implications for Abiogenesis
Previous Article in Journal
New Applications of High-Resolution Analytical Methods to Study Trace Organic Compounds in Extraterrestrial Materials
Previous Article in Special Issue
The Essence of Systems Chemistry
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

Modelling Bacteria-Inspired Dynamics with Networks of Interacting Chemicals

School of Chemistry, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston B15 2TT, UK
Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S1 3JD, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 2 July 2019 / Revised: 24 July 2019 / Accepted: 25 July 2019 / Published: 29 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modelling Life-Like Behavior in Systems Chemistry)
One approach to understanding how life-like properties emerge involves building synthetic cellular systems that mimic certain dynamical features of living cells such as bacteria. Here, we developed a model of a reaction network in a cellular system inspired by the ability of bacteria to form a biofilm in response to increasing cell density. Our aim was to determine the role of chemical feedback in the dynamics. The feedback was applied through the enzymatic rate dependence on pH, as pH is an important parameter that controls the rates of processes in cells. We found that a switch in pH can be used to drive base-catalyzed gelation or precipitation of a substance in the external solution. A critical density of cells was required for gelation that was essentially independent of the pH-driven feedback. However, the cell pH reached a higher maximum as a result of the appearance of pH oscillations with feedback. Thus, we conclude that while feedback may not play a vital role in some density-dependent behavior in cellular systems, it nevertheless can be exploited to activate internally regulated cell processes at low cell densities. View Full-Text
Keywords: systems chemistry; reaction networks; autocatalysis; quorum sensing; bioinspired systems systems chemistry; reaction networks; autocatalysis; quorum sensing; bioinspired systems
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

MDPI and ACS Style

Bánsági, T., Jr.; Taylor, A.F. Modelling Bacteria-Inspired Dynamics with Networks of Interacting Chemicals. Life 2019, 9, 63.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

Back to TopTop