In theory, groups of enzyme-loaded particles producing an acid or base may show complex behavior including dynamical quorum sensing, the appearance of synchronized oscillations above a critical number or density of particles. Here, experiments were performed with the enzyme urease loaded into mm-sized agarose beads and placed in a solution of urea, resulting in an increase in pH. This behavior was found to be dependent upon the number of beads present in the array; however, reaction-induced convection occurred and plumes of high pH developed that extended to the walls of the reactor. The convection resulted in the motion of the mm-sized particles and conversion of the solution to high pH. Simulations in a simple model of the beads demonstrated the suppression of dynamical quorum sensing in the presence of flow.
Influence of reaction-induced convection on quorum sensing in enzyme-loaded agarose beads
Vladimir M. Markovic, Tamás Bánsági, Dennel McKenzie, Anthony Mai, John A. Pojman, Annette F. Taylor; Influence of reaction-induced convection on quorum sensing in enzyme-loaded agarose beads. Chaos 1 March 2019; 29 (3): 033130. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5089295
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