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June 10 , 2008

Engineering of Chemical Complexity


This review volume, co-edited by Nobel laureate G Ertl, provides a broad overview on current studies in the understanding of design and control of complex chemical systems of various origins, on scales ranging from single molecules and nano-phenomena to macroscopic chemical reactors. Self-organizational behavior and the emergence of coherent collective dynamics in reaction–diffusion systems, reactive soft matter and chemical networks are covered. Special attention is paid to the applications in molecular cell biology and to the problems of biological evolution, synthetic biology and design of artificial living cells.

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Starting with a detailed introduction on the history of research on complex chemical systems, its current state of the art and perspectives, the book comprises 19 chapters that survey the current progress in particular research fields. The reviews, prepared by leading international experts, yield together a fascinating picture of a rapidly developing research discipline that brings chemical engineering to new frontiers.

  • Introduction:
    • Analysis, Design and Control of Complex Chemical Systems (Alexander S Mikhailov and Gerhard Ertl)
  • Single Molecules, Nanoscale Phenomena and Active Particles:
    • Imaging and Manipulation of Single Molecules by Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (Leonhard Grill)
    • Self-Organization at the Nanoscale in Far-From-Equilibrium Surface Reactions and Copolymerizations (Pierre Gaspard)
    • Single Molecule and Collective Dynamics of Motor Protein Coupled with Mechano-Sensitive Chemical Reaction (Mitsuhiro Iwaki, Lorenzo Marcucci, Yuichi Togashi and Toshio Yanagida)
    • Nanomotors Propelled by Chemical Reactions (Raymond Kapral)
    • Biology of Nanobots (Wentao Duan, Ryan Pavlick and Ayusman Sen)
  • Reaction–Diffusion Systems and Nonequilibrium Soft Matter:
    • Wave Phenomena in Reaction–Diffusion Systems (Oliver Steinbock and Harald Engel)
    • Self-Oscillating Polymer Gels as Smart Materials (Ryo Yoshida)
    • Stochastic Fluctuations and Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking in the Chemotaxis Signaling System of Dicyostelium Cells (Tatsuo Shibata)
    • Mechanochemical Pattern Formation in the Polarization of the One-Cell C Elegans Embryo (Justin S Bois and Stephan W Grill)
  • Oscillations and Synchronization:
    • Synchronization of Electrochemical Oscillators (Mahesh Wickramasinghe and István Z Kiss)
    • Turbulence and Synchrony in Spatially Extended Electrochemical Oscillators (Vladimir Garcia-Morales and Katharina Krischer)
    • Quorum Sensing and Synchronization in Populations of Coupled Chemical Oscillators (Annette F Taylor, Mark R Tinsley and Kenneth Showalter)
    • Collective Decision-Making and Oscillatory Behaviors in Cell Populations (Koichi Fujimoto and Satoshi Sawai)
    • Synchronization via Hydrodynamic Interactions (Franziska Kendelbacher and Holger Stark)
  • Evolution, Synthetic Biology, and Protocells:
    • Emergence and Selection of Biomodules: Steps in the Assembly of a Protocell (Susanna C Manrubia and Carlos Briones)
    • From Catalytic Reaction Networks to Protocells (Kunihiko Kaneko)
    • Constructive Approach Towards Protocells (Tadashi Sugawara, Kensuke Kurihara and Kentaro Suzuki)
    • Network Reverse Engineering Approach in Synthetic Biology (Haoqian Zhang, Ao Liu, Yuheng Lu, Ying Sheng, Qianzhu Wu, Zhenzhen Yin, Yiwei Chen, Zairan Liu, Heng Pan and Qi Ouyang)

Readership: Graduate students and scientists interested in complex chemical systems.
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