Self-organized Vortex State in Two-Dimensional Dictyostelium Dynamics

Wouter-Jan Rappel, Alastair Nicol, Armand Sarkissian, Herbert Levine, and William F. Loomis
Phys. Rev. Lett. 83, 1247 – Published 9 August 1999
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Abstract

We present results of experiments on the dynamics of Dictyostelium discoideum in a novel setup which constrains cell motion to a plane. After aggregation, the amoebae collect into round “pancake” structures in which the cells rotate around the center of the pancake. To provide a mechanism for the self-organization of the Dictyostelium cells, we have developed a new model of the dynamics of self-propelled deformable objects. In this model, we show that cohesive energy between the cells, together with a coupling between the self-generated propulsive force and the cell's configuration, produces a self-organized vortex state. The mechanism for self-organization reported here can possibly explain similar vortex states in other biological systems.

  • Received 3 November 1998

DOI:https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.83.1247

©1999 American Physical Society

Authors & Affiliations

Wouter-Jan Rappel, Alastair Nicol, Armand Sarkissian, and Herbert Levine

  • Department of Physics, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093-0319

William F. Loomis

  • Department of Biology, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093

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Vol. 83, Iss. 6 — 9 August 1999

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