Maze Solving by Chemotactic Droplets
Istavn Lagzi, Siowling Soh, Paul J. Wesson, Kevin P. Browne, Bartosz A. Grzybowski
Journal of the American Chemical Society 2010 132 (4), 1198-1199 doi:10.1021/ja9076793
Droplets emitting surface-active chemicals exhibit chemotaxis toward low-pH regions. Such droplets are self-propelled and navigate through a complex maze to seek a source of acid placed at one of the maze’s exits. In doing so, the droplets find the shortest path through the maze. Chemotaxis and maze solving are due to an interplay between acid/base chemistry and surface tension effects.