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Durham University

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Publication details for Paul Sutcliffe

Cincotti, Antonio, Maucher, Fabian, Evans, David, Chapin, Brette M., Horner, Kate, Bromley, Elizabeth, Lobb, Andrew, Steed, Jonathan W. & Sutcliffe, Paul (2019). Threaded Rings that Swim in Excitable Media. Physical Review Letters 123(25): 258102.

Author(s) from Durham


Cardiac tissue and the Belousov-Zhabotinsky reaction provide two notable examples of excitable media
that support scroll waves, in which a filament core is the source of spiral waves of excitation. Here we
consider a novel topological configuration in which a closed filament loop, known as a scroll ring, is
threaded by a pair of counterrotating filaments that are perpendicular to the plane of the ring and end on the
boundary of a thin medium. We simulate the dynamics of this threaded ring (thring) in the photosensitive
Belousov-Zhabotinsky excitable medium, using the modified Oregonator reaction-diffusion equations.
These computations reveal that the threading topology induces an exotic motion in which the thring swims
in the plane of the ring. We propose a light templating protocol to create a thring in the photosensitive
Belousov-Zhabotinsky medium and provide experimental confirmation that this protocol indeed yields a