Turing structures are 3D structures based on 2D Turing patterns which were predicted by Alan Turing in 1952 in his paper 'The Chemical Basis of Morphogensis'. These structures arise when imbalances between diffusion rates make a stable steady-state system sensitive to heterogeneous perturbations. Almost all theories surrounding Turing Structures as based on activator-inhibitor kinetics where the activator is responsible for accelerating the reaction, and the inhibitor is responsible for slowing down the reactions caused by the activator.
In 2018, a team led by Lin Zhang in Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China created the first made Turing structure using the material polyamid. They created a reaction between trimesoyl chloride and piperazine whereby polyvinyl alcohol has been added to lower its diffusion rate and to activate an inhibitor in trimesoyl chloride. The resulting reaction produces a 3D Turing structure with dot and tube variants. These variants are predicted by Turing's model.
Turing structures have large surface area and may have applications in desalination machines. They also have potential applications in regenerative medicine including bone, organ and vein construction.
Molecular Turing structures in the biochemistry of the cell
B. Hasslacher, R. Kapral, A. Lawniczak
Polyamide membranes with nanoscale Turing structures for water purification
The Chemical Basis of Morphogenesis
A M Turing
Turing Patterns with Turing Machines: Emergence and Low-level Structure Formation