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Wiley, Chemistry - A European Journal, 45(18), p. 14375-14383, 2012

DOI: 10.1002/chem.201201974



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Energy propagation through a protometabolism leading to the local emergence of singular stationary concentration profiles.

This paper was not found in any repository, but could be made available legally by the author.
This paper was not found in any repository, but could be made available legally by the author.

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Living systems rely on chains of energy transfer from an energy source to maintain their metabolism. This task requires functionally identified components and organizations. However, propagation of a sustained energy flux through a cascade of reaction cycles has never been reproduced at a steady state in a simple chemical system. By using energy patterning and a diffusing hub reactant, we achieved the transfer of energy through an abiotic protometabolism. Patterned illumination was applied to a liquid solution of a reversible photoacid. It resulted in the local onset of a proton pump, which subsequently drove an extended reaction-diffusion cycle that involved pH-sensitive reactants. Thus, light has been used for locally setting out of chemical equilibrium a reaction involving "blind" reactants. The spontaneous onset of an energy-transfer chain notably drives the local generation of singular dissipative chemical structures; continuous matter fluxes are dynamically maintained at boundaries between spatially and chemically segregated zones, in the absence of any membrane or predetermined material structure. Copyright © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim. ; SCOPUS: ar.j ; info:eu-repo/semantics/published