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Fractal self-organization of bacteria-inspired agents

Huang, Y; Krumanocker, I; Coppens, M-O; (2012) Fractal self-organization of bacteria-inspired agents. Fractals , 20 (2) 179 - 195. 10.1142/S0218348X12500168. Green open access


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We develop an agent-based model as a preliminary theoretical basis to guide the synthesis of a new class of materials with dynamic properties similar to bacterial colonies. Each agent in the model is representative of an individual bacterium capable of: the uptake of chemicals (nutrients), which are metabolized; active movement (part viscous, part diffusive), consuming metabolic energy; and cellular division, when agents have doubled in size. The agents grow in number and self-organize into fractal structures, depending on the rules that define the actions of the agents and the parameter values. The environment of the agents includes chemicals responsible for their growth and is described by a diffusion-reaction equation with Michaelis-Menten kinetics. These rules are modeled mathematically by a set of equations with five dimensionless groups that are functions of physical parameters. Simulations are performed for different parameter values. The resulting structures are characterized by their fractal scaling regime, box-counting and mass-radius dimensions, and lacunarity. Each parameter influences the overall structure in a unique way, generating a wide spectrum of structures. For certain combinations of parameter values, the model converges to a steady state, with a finite population of agents that no longer divide. © 2012 World Scientific Publishing Company.

Type: Article
Title: Fractal self-organization of bacteria-inspired agents
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1142/S0218348X12500168
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1142/S0218348X12500168
Language: English
Additional information: Electronic version of an article published as Fractals, 20, 2, 2012, 179-195 10.1142/S0218348X12500168 © 2012 World Scientific Publishing Company http://www.worldscientific.com/worldscinet/fractals
Keywords: Fractal, Fractal Growth, Bacterial Colonies, Agent-Based Model, Dynamic Materials
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Chemical Engineering
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1367516
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