Optical Communication among Oscillatory Reactions and Photo-Excitable Systems: UV and Visible Radiation Can Synchronize Artificial Neuron Models

Pier Luigi Gentili, Maria Sole Giubila, Raimondo Germani, Aldo Romani, Andrea Nicoziani, Anna Spalletti, B. Mark Heron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)


Neuromorphic engineering promises to have a revolutionary impact in our societies. A strategy to develop artificial neurons (ANs) is to use oscillatory and excitable chemical systems. Herein, we use UV and visible radiation as both excitatory and inhibitory signals for the communication among oscillatory reactions, such as the Belousov–Zhabotinsky and the chemiluminescent Orban transformations, and photo-excitable photochromic and fluorescent species. We present the experimental results and the simulations regarding pairs of ANs communicating by either one or two optical signals, and triads of ANs arranged in both feed-forward and recurrent networks. We find that the ANs, powered chemically and/or by the energy of electromagnetic radiation, can give rise to the emergent properties of in-phase, out-of-phase, anti-phase synchronizations and phase-locking, dynamically mimicking the communication among real neurons.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7535-7540
Number of pages6
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Issue number26
Early online date31 May 2017
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jun 2017


Cite this