Sensing and communication at the microscale is a challenge for bacteria and other organisms. One mechanism is quorum sensing: through emitting signaling molecules and measuring their concentration, members of a population can get information about the local density. In a collaboration with the Bechinger group in Konstanz, we elucidate the collective dynamics of synthetic swimmers that change their "phenotype" from motile to passive depending on the local concentration.
"Self-organization of active particles by quorum sensing rules" by T. Bäuerle, A. Fischer, T. Speck, and C. Bechinger published in Nat. Commun. 9, 3232 (2018)