The rotating magnetocaloric effect as a potential mechanism for natural magnetic senses

Autoři: A. Martin Bell aff001;  Jacob T. Robinson aff002
Působiště autorů: Applied Physics Program, Rice University, Houston, Texas, United States of America aff001;  Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Rice University, Houston, Texas, United States of America aff002;  Department of Bioengineering, Rice University, Houston, Texas, United States of America aff003;  Department of Neuroscience, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, United States of America aff004
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(10)
Kategorie: Research Article


Many animals are able to sense the earth’s magnetic field, including varieties of arthropods and members of all major vertebrate groups. While the existence of this magnetic sense is widely accepted, the mechanism of action remains unknown. Building from recent work on synthetic magnetoreceptors, we propose a new model for natural magnetosensation based on the rotating magnetocaloric effect (RME), which predicts that heat generated by magnetic nanoparticles may allow animals to detect features of the earth’s magnetic field. Using this model, we identify the conditions for the RME to produce physiological signals in response to the earth’s magnetic field and suggest experiments to distinguish between candidate mechanisms of magnetoreception.

Klíčová slova:

Anisotropy – Entropy – Nanoparticles – Magnetic fields – Aspect ratio – Cell polarity – Magnetite


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