Martyn Amos, David A. Hodgson and Alan Gibbons; submitted to the International Journal of Unconventional Computing. Preprint available at arxiv.org/abs/q-bio/0512017 (from Friday).
In this article we highlight chemotaxis (cellular movement) as a rich source of potential engineering applications and computational models, highlighting current research and possible future work. We first give a brief description of the biological mechanism, before describing recent work on modelling it in silico. We then propose a methodology for extending existing models and their possible application as a fundamental tool in engineering cellular pattern formation. We discuss possible engineering applications of human-defined cell patterns, as well as the potential for using abstract models of chemotaxis for generalised computation, before concluding with a brief discussion of future challenges and opportunities in this field.