Directed migration of Physarum polycephalum: Excitability and force traction measurement
Physarum polycephalum (Physarum), also called the slime mold, is a protist that currently serves as the model system for decentralized Biological organisms. Directed migration of the Physarum results in the formation of a network of interconnected protoplasmic tubes. The intersection of the tubes is referred to as nodes. We have shown that the nodes can be used as an observable to the directed migration of Physarum. Furthermore, the total number of nodes is found to be controlled and exhibit spike like dynamics as expected for an excitable system. Moreover, agent-based lattice simulations support our hypothesis that the nodes also act as sensing components to an underlying control oscillator. Lastly, we present a much-detailed 3D motility measurement of the Physarum directed migration and its associated force traction measurement. A modified active trap model was able to capture the force generation dynamics of the Physarum.