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Threaded Rings that Swim in Excitable Media

Cincotti, Antonio; Maucher, Fabian; Evans, David; Chapin, Brette M.; Horner, Kate; Bromley, Elizabeth; Lobb, Andrew; Steed, Jonathan W.; Sutcliffe, Paul

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Antonio Cincotti

Fabian Maucher

David Evans

Brette M. Chapin

Kate Horner


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 thring


Cincotti, A., Maucher, F., Evans, D., Chapin, B. M., Horner, K., Bromley, E., …Sutcliffe, P. (2019). Threaded Rings that Swim in Excitable Media. Physical Review Letters, 123(25), Article 258102.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Dec 20, 2019
Publication Date Dec 20, 2019
Deposit Date Jan 9, 2020
Publicly Available Date Jan 9, 2020
Journal Physical Review Letters
Print ISSN 0031-9007
Electronic ISSN 1079-7114
Publisher American Physical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 123
Issue 25
Article Number 258102


Published Journal Article (2.1 Mb)

Copyright Statement
Reprinted with permission from the American Physical Society: 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. © by the American Physical Society. Readers may view, browse, and/or download material for temporary copying purposes only, provided these uses are for noncommercial personal purposes. Except as provided by law, this material may not be further reproduced, distributed, transmitted, modified, adapted, performed, displayed, published, or sold in whole or part, without prior written permission from the American Physical Society.

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