Artificial temperature-compensated biological clock using temperature-sensitive Belousov-Zhabotinsky gels

Sci Rep. 2022 Dec 27;12(1):22436. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-27014-z.


The circadian rhythm is a fundamental physiological function for a wide range of organisms. The molecular machinery for generating rhythms has been elucidated over the last few decades. Nevertheless, the mechanism for temperature compensation of the oscillation period, which is a prominent property of the circadian rhythm, is still controversial. In this study, we propose a new mechanism through a chemically synthetic approach (i.e., we realized temperature compensation by the Belousov-Zhabotinsky (BZ) gels). The BZ gels are prepared by embedding a metal catalyst of the BZ reaction into the gel polymer. We made the body of BZ gels using a temperature-sensitive polymer gel, which enabled temperature compensation of the oscillation by using temperature dependence of volume. Moreover, we constructed a simple mathematical model for the BZ oscillation in temperature-sensitive gels. The model can reproduce temperature compensation of BZ gels, even though all reactions are temperature sensitive according to the Arrhenius rule. Our finding hints that a soft body coupling may be underlying temperature-compensated biological functions, including circadian rhythms.

PMID:36575287 | DOI:10.1038/s41598-022-27014-z


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