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Title: The macroscopic limit to synchronization of cellular clocks in single cells of Neurospora crassa

We determined the macroscopic limit for phase synchronization of cellular clocks in an artificial tissue created by a “big chamber” microfluidic device to be about 150,000 cells or less. The dimensions of the microfluidic chamber allowed us to calculate an upper limit on the radius of a hypothesized quorum sensing signal molecule of 13.05 nm using a diffusion approximation for signal travel within the device. The use of a second microwell microfluidic device allowed the refinement of the macroscopic limit to a cell density of 2166 cells per fixed area of the device for phase synchronization. The measurement of averages over single cell trajectories in the microwell device supported a deterministic quorum sensing model identified by ensemble methods for clock phase synchronization. A strong inference framework was used to test the communication mechanism in phase synchronization of quorum sensing versus cell-to-cell contact, suggesting support for quorum sensing. Further evidence came from showing phase synchronization was density-dependent.

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Publisher / Repository:
Nature Publishing Group
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Journal Name:
Scientific Reports
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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