Synchronization in Chemical and Biological Systems

Complex rhythms are widespread in living systems. For example, EEG recordings from the brain exhibit oscillatory patterns covering a large spectrum of frequencies ranging from 0.05 to 500 Hz and organisms are usually exposed to 24h circadian rhythm as well. Blood pressure oscillations exhibit five frequency components from 0.01 to 1 Hz due to heartbeat, respiration, blood-pressure regulation, and neurogenic and metabolic activities.

We study emerging properties of rhythmic electrochemical reactions that exhibit similarities to those found in biological systems. Properties such as synchronization, dynamical differentiation or clustering, and complex collective behavior are investigated with electrode arrays. In the array each electrode has its own rhythm that interacts with other electrodes in the array due to mass transport and potential drops in the electrolyte or in the external circuitry. Experiments and numerical simulations are carried out to characterize the collective properties as a function of interaction strength, chemical compositions, and applied potential in metal dissolution systems.