Anisotropy and Spiral Organizing Centers in Patterned Excitable Media

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Science  29 Sep 1995:
Vol. 269, Issue 5232, pp. 1857-1860
DOI: 10.1126/science.269.5232.1857


Chemical wave behavior in a patterned Belousov-Zhabotinsky system prepared by printing the catalyst of the reaction on membranes with an ink jet printer is described. Cellular inhomogeneities give rise to global anisotropy in wave propagation, with specific local patterns resulting in hexagonal, diamond, and pentagonal geometries. Spiral wave sources appear spontaneously and serve as organizing centers of the surrounding wave activity. The experimental methodology offers flexibility for studies of excitable media with made-to-order spatial inhomogeneities.