Computational Modeling of Neural Circuit-Like Coupled Belousov-Zhabotinsky Reactions

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dc.contributor.advisor Fraden, Seth en_US Mitchell, Alexander 2017-05-24T13:39:26Z 2017-05-24T13:39:26Z 2017
dc.description.abstract We seek to adapt simplified circuit models of neural central pattern generators (CPGs) for use in a system of chemical oscillators using the Belousov-Zhabotinsky reaction (BZ). The BZ reaction lends itself well to the analysis of these complex oscillators, as it shares a number of properties with model neurons. BZ produces periodic all-or-nothing spike-like behavior, this spike behavior can be induced or prevented by perturbations to the reaction mixture, and critically reactors can be chemically coupled to one another. Microreactors of BZ mixture can be coupled with either hollow channels for the diffusion of aqueous solution (activator coupling) or with PDMS-filled channels for bromine (inhibitor coupling). Using existing computational models for single BZ reactors, we constructed and tested various simple arrangements of wells and chemical couplings that resembled different CPGs from the crustacean stomatogastric ganglion, lamprey spinal cord movement, and others. Using MatLab, we simulated the dynamics of oscillations in these arrangements under different conditions that could be used to disrupt the circuit, such as the presence chemical gradients across channels, light exposure, and the physical dimensions and arrangement of the circuits themselves. We then used these conditions to control the frequency and phase relationships of BZ oscillators. We successfully constructed models for a number of potential circuits and characterized their behavior. We hope that this work will encourage future exploration into applying neuroscience models to further the growing field of BZ research. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship Brandeis University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences en_US
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en_US
dc.language English en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher Brandeis University en_US
dc.rights Copyright by Alexander Mitchell 2017 en_US
dc.title Computational Modeling of Neural Circuit-Like Coupled Belousov-Zhabotinsky Reactions en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.contributor.department Interdepartmental Program in Neuroscience en_US MS en_US Masters en_US Neuroscience en_US Brandeis University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences en_US

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