Morphogenetic and homeostatic self-assembled systems


As a natural evolution of developments in membrane computing and self-assembly, the time appears ripe to hybridize their principles to explore models capable of exhibiting further properties exhibited by living organisms, while preserving the primary advantages of models in physics, chemistry and computer science, e.g. arising from local interactions of their components and implementable in silico and/or in vitro. We introduce an abstract model named M system, capable of self assembly and a developmental process, that strikes a balance between these conflicting goals, namely biological realism, physical-chemical realism and computational realism. We demonstrate that such systems are capable of being assembled from scratch from some atomic components, undergo a process of morphogenesis by the unfolding of the self-assembly rules defined by their local interactions, exhibit crucial properties of living cells as the self-healing property or mitosis (cell division), and eventually enter a stable equilibrium of adulthood in which they will continue to function as long as certain conditions in their environment remain. We present some theoretical results on the model, as well as preliminary simulations and experimental results of an M system simulator we have developed to explore this kind of model.

Publication Title

Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)