ABSTRACT: Self-oscillation is a phenomenon where an object sustains periodic motion upon non-periodic stimulus. It occurs commonly in nature, a few examples being heartbeat, sea waves and fluttering of leaves. Stimuli-responsive materials allow creating synthetic self-oscillators fuelled by different forms of energy, e.g. heat, light and chemicals, showing great potential for applications in power generation, autonomous mass transport, and self-propelled micro-robotics. However, most of the self-oscillators are based on bending deformation, thereby limiting their possibilities of being implemented in practical applications. Here, we report light-fuelled self-oscillators based on liquid crystal network actuators that can exhibit three basic oscillation modes: bending, twisting and contraction-expansion. We show that a time delay in material response dictates the self-oscillation dynamics, and realize a freestyle self-oscillator that combines numerous oscillation modes simultaneously by adjusting the excitation beam position. The results provide new insights into understanding of self-oscillation phenomenon and offer new designs for future self-propelling micro-robots.
Project description:When two or more candle flames are fused by approaching them together, the resulting large flame often exhibits flickering, i.e., prolonged high-frequency oscillation in its size and luminance. In the present work, we investigate the collective behaviour of three-coupled candle flame oscillators in a triangular arrangement. The system showed four distinct types of syncronised modes as a consequence of spontaneous symmetry breaking. The modes obtained include the in-phase mode, the partial in-phase mode, the rotation mode, and an anomalous one called the "death" mode that causes a sudden stop of the flame oscillation followed by self-sustained stable combustion. We also clarified the correlation between the inter-flame distance and the frequency with which the modes occur.
Project description:We report the experimental discovery of a remarkable organization of the set of self-generated periodic oscillations in the parameter space of a nonlinear electronic circuit. When control parameters are suitably tuned, the wave pattern complexity of the periodic oscillations is found to increase orderly without bound. Such complex patterns emerge forming self-similar discontinuous phases that combine in an artful way to produce large discontinuous spirals of stability. This unanticipated discrete accumulation of stability phases was detected experimentally and numerically in a Duffing-like proxy specially designed to bypass noisy spectra conspicuously present in driven oscillators. Discontinuous spirals organize the dynamics over extended parameter intervals around a focal point. They are useful to optimize locking into desired oscillatory modes and to control complex systems. The organization of oscillations into discontinuous spirals is expected to be generic for a class of nonlinear oscillators.
Project description:Oscillatory activity is widespread in dynamic neuronal networks. The main paradigm for the origin of periodicity consists of specialized pacemaking elements that synchronize and drive the rest of the network; however, other models exist. Here, we studied the spontaneous emergence of synchronized periodic bursting in a network of cultured dissociated neurons from rat hippocampus and cortex. Surprisingly, about 60% of all active neurons were self-sustained oscillators when disconnected, each with its own natural frequency. The individual neuron's tendency to oscillate and the corresponding oscillation frequency are controlled by its excitability. The single neuron intrinsic oscillations were blocked by riluzole, and are thus dependent on persistent sodium leak currents. Upon a gradual retrieval of connectivity, the synchrony evolves: Loose synchrony appears already at weak connectivity, with the oscillators converging to one common oscillation frequency, yet shifted in phase across the population. Further strengthening of the connectivity causes a reduction in the mean phase shifts until zero-lag is achieved, manifested by synchronous periodic network bursts. Interestingly, the frequency of network bursting matches the average of the intrinsic frequencies. Overall, the network behaves like other universal systems, where order emerges spontaneously by entrainment of independent rhythmic units. Although simplified with respect to circuitry in the brain, our results attribute a basic functional role for intrinsic single neuron excitability mechanisms in driving the network's activity and dynamics, contributing to our understanding of developing neural circuits.
Project description:Resonance, beats, and synchronization are general and fundamental phenomena in physics. Their existence and their in-depth understanding in physical systems have led to several applications and technological developments shaping our world today. Here we show the existence of chemical resonance, chemical beats, and frequency locking phenomena in periodically forced pH oscillatory systems (sulfite-hydrogen peroxide and sulfite-formaldehyde-gluconolactone pH oscillatory systems). Periodic forcing was realized by a superimposed sinusoidal modulation on the inflow rates of the reagents in the continuous-flow stirred tank reactor. The dependence of the time period of beats follows the relation known from classical physics for forced physical oscillators. Our developed numerical model describes qualitatively the resonance and beat phenomena experimentally revealed. Application of periodic forcing in autonomously oscillating systems can provide new types of oscillators with a controllable frequency and new insight into controlling irregular chemical oscillation regimes.
Project description:In vertebrate embryos, somites, the precursor of vertebrae, form from the presomitic mesoderm (PSM), which is composed of cells displaying signaling oscillations. Cellular oscillatory activity leads to periodic wave patterns in the PSM. Here, we address the origin of such complex wave patterns. We employed an in vitro randomization and real-time imaging strategy to probe for the ability of cells to generate order from disorder. We found that, after randomization, PSM cells self-organized into several miniature emergent PSM structures (ePSM). Our results show an ordered macroscopic spatial arrangement of ePSM with evidence of an intrinsic length scale. Furthermore, cells actively synchronize oscillations in a Notch-signaling-dependent manner, re-establishing wave-like patterns of gene activity. We demonstrate that PSM cells self-organize by tuning oscillation dynamics in response to surrounding cells, leading to collective synchronization with an average frequency. These findings reveal emergent properties within an ensemble of coupled genetic oscillators.
Project description:Oscillators are one of the key elements in various applications as a signal source to generate periodic oscillations. Among them, an optical parametric oscillator (OPO) is a driven harmonic oscillator based on parametric frequency conversion in an optical cavity, which has been widely investigated as a coherent light source with an extremely wide wavelength tuning range. However, steady oscillation in an OPO is confined by the cavity delay, which leads to difficulty in frequency tuning, and the frequency tuning is discrete with the minimum tuning step determined by the cavity delay. Here, we propose and demonstrate a counterpart of an OPO in the optoelectronic domain, i.e., an optoelectronic parametric oscillator (OEPO) based on parametric frequency conversion in an optoelectronic cavity to generate microwave signals. Owing to the unique energy-transition process in the optoelectronic cavity, the phase evolution in the OEPO is not linear, leading to steady single-mode oscillation or multimode oscillation that is not bounded by the cavity delay. Furthermore, the multimode oscillation in the OEPO is stable and easy to realize owing to the phase control of the parametric frequency-conversion process in the optoelectronic cavity, while stable multimode oscillation is difficult to achieve in conventional oscillators such as an optoelectronic oscillator (OEO) or an OPO due to the mode-hopping and mode-competition effect. The proposed OEPO has great potential in applications such as microwave signal generation, oscillator-based computation, and radio-frequency phase-stable transfer.
Project description:We present experiments and theory of a constant flow-driven microfluidic oscillator with widely tunable oscillation periods. This oscillator converts two constant input-flows from a syringe pump into an alternating, periodic output-flow with oscillation periods that can be adjusted to between 0.3 s to 4.1 h by tuning an external membrane capacitor. This capacitor allows multiple adjustable periods at a given input flow-rate, thus providing great flexibility in device operation. Also, we show that a sufficiently large external capacitance, relative to the internal capacitance of the microfluidic valve itself, is a critical requirement for oscillation. These widely tunable microfluidic oscillators are envisioned to be broadly useful for the study of biological rhythms, as on-chip timing sources for microfluidic logic circuits, and other applications that require variation in timed flow switching.
Project description:Synthetic gene oscillators are small, engineered genetic circuits that produce periodic variations in target protein expression. Like other gene circuits, synthetic gene oscillators are noisy and exhibit fluctuations in amplitude and period. Understanding the origins of such variability is key to building predictive models that can guide the rational design of synthetic circuits. Here, we developed a method for determining the impact of different sources of noise in genetic oscillators by measuring the variability in oscillation amplitude and correlations between sister cells. We first used a combination of microfluidic devices and time-lapse fluorescence microscopy to track oscillations in cell lineages across many generations. We found that oscillation amplitude exhibited high cell-to-cell variability, while sister cells remained strongly correlated for many minutes after cell division. To understand how such variability arises, we constructed a computational model that identified the impact of various noise sources across the lineage of an initial cell. When each source of noise was appropriately tuned the model reproduced the experimentally observed amplitude variability and correlations, and accurately predicted outcomes under novel experimental conditions. Our combination of computational modeling and time-lapse data analysis provides a general way to examine the sources of variability in dynamic gene circuits.
Project description:Branching by de novo formation of lateral roots along the primary root of Arabidopsis seedlings follows a complex longitudinal and transverse pattern. How this pattern is generated is presently under debate. The 'bending hypothesis' proposes that lateral root primordia are initiated by a local accumulation of auxin at the convex side of bends resulting from deflections through obstacles, gravitropic bending, or other means. In contrast, the 'oscillation hypothesis' proposes the existence of an endogenous clock-type oscillator mechanism producing periodic pulses of gene expression in the root tip that determine the future sites of primordium initiation. Here we report physiological experiments dissecting periodic priming signals, pre-disposing the root to rhythmic lateral root formation, from bending-mediated signals responsible for the subsequent positioning of their initiation along the growing root. While the frequency of lateral roots can be promoted by auxin in the mature root, their positioning follows a pre-formed pattern determined by previous bending. Both types of signals turn out to be necessary, complementary components in an integrating concept of lateral root patterning.
Project description:Hydrodynamic interactions play a role in synchronized motions of coupled oscillators in fluids, and understanding the mechanism will facilitate development of applications in fluid mechanics. For example, synchronization phenomenon in two-phase flow will benefit the design of future microfluidic devices, allowing spatiotemporal control of microdroplet generation without additional integration of control elements. In this work, utilizing a characteristic oscillation of adjacent interfaces between two immiscible fluids in a microfluidic platform, we discover that the system can act as a coupled oscillator, notably showing spontaneous in-phase synchronization of droplet breakup. With this observation of in-phase synchronization, the coupled droplet generator exhibits a complete set of modes of coupled oscillators, including out-of-phase synchronization and nonsynchronous modes. We present a theoretical model to elucidate how a negative feedback mechanism, tied to the distance between the interfaces, induces the in-phase synchronization. We also identify the criterion for the transition from in-phase to out-of-phase oscillations.