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
PDFExport Citation


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


©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

References (Subscription Required)

Click to Expand

Vol. 83, Iss. 6 — 9 August 1999

Reuse & Permissions
Access Options
Heating up of Superconductors
January 27, 2017

This collection marks the 30th anniversary of the discovery of high-temperature superconductors. The papers selected highlight some of the advances that have been made to date, both in understanding why these compounds behave in the way they do, and in utilizing them in applications. The papers included in the collection have been made free to read.

APS and CERN Sign Open Access Agreement for SCOAP3

APS and CERN, the host organization of SCOAP3 (Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics), have signed an agreement to make the high-energy physics (HEP) articles published in three leading APS journals open access beginning January 1, 2018. This agreement acts to support the publishing of open access content for wider benefit of the HEP community.

Authorization Required




Sign up to receive regular email alerts from Physical Review Letters

Log In



Article Lookup

Paste a citation or DOI

Enter a citation