Representative Publications & Projects

    Representative Publications

    J1. T. Nakano, Y. Okaie, S. Kobayashi, T. Koujin, C.-H. Chan, Y.-H. Hsu, T. Obuchi, T. Hara, Y. Hiraoka, and T. Haraguchi, “Performance evaluation of leader-follower-based mobile molecular communication networks for target detection applications,” IEEE Transactions on Communications, vol. 65, no. 2, pp. 636-676, 2017.

    This paper proposes a leader–follower-based model of mobile molecular communication networks for target detection applications. The proposed model divides the application functionalities of molecular communication networks into two types of mobile bio-nanomachine: leader and follower bio-nanomachines. Leader bio-nanomachines distribute in the environment to detect a target and create an attractant gradient around the target. Follower bio-nanomachines move according to the attractant gradient established by leader bio-nanomachines; they approach the target and perform necessary functionalities, such as releasing drug molecules. This paper develops mathematical expressions for the proposed model, describes wet laboratory experiments designed to estimate model parameters, and performs biologically realistic computer simulation experiments to evaluate the performance of the proposed model.

    J2. T. Nakano, S. Kobayashi, T. Suda, Y. Okaie, Y. Hiraoka, and T. Haraguchi, “Externally Controllable Molecular Communication,” IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications, vol. 32, no. 12, pp. 2417-2431, 2014.

    An open research issue in molecular communication is to establish interfaces to interconnect the molecular communication environment (e.g., inside the human body) and its external environment (e.g., outside the human body). Such interfaces allow conventional devices in the external environment to control the location and timing of molecular communication processes in the molecular communication environment and expand the capability of molecular communication. This paper first describes an architecture of externally controllable molecular communication and introduces two types of interfaces for biological nanomachines; bio-nanomachine to bio-nanomachine interfaces (BNIs) for bio-nanomachines to interact with other biological nanomachines, and inmessaging and outmessaging interfaces (IMIs and OMIs) for bio-nanomachines to interact with devices in the external environment. This paper then describes a proof-of- concept design and wet laboratory implementation of the IMI and OMI, using biological cells. It further demonstrates how an architecture of externally controllable molecular communication with BNIs and IMIs/OMIs may apply to pattern formation, a promising nanomedical application of molecular communication.

    J3. T. Nakano, T. Suda, Y. Okaie, M. Moore, A. V. Vasilakos, “Molecular Communication among Biological Nanomachines: A Layred Architecture and research issues, ” IEEE
    Transactions on Nanobioscience, vol. 13, no. 3, pp. 169-197, 2014.

    Establishing a layered architecture of molecular communication helps organize various research issues and design concerns into layers that are relatively independent of each other, and thus accelerates research in each layer and facilitates the design and development of applications of molecular communication. This paper describes the layered architecture of molecular communication to identify research issues that molecular communication faces at each layer of the architecture. Specifically, this paper applies a layered architecture approach, traditionally used in communication networks, to molecular communication, decomposes complex molecular communication functionality into a set of manageable layers, identifies basic functionalities of each layer, and develops a descriptive model consisting of key components of the layer for each layer.

    J4. T. Nakano, A. Eckford, T. Haraguchi, Molecular Communication, Cambridge University Press, 2013.

    The book, molecular communication, is a comprehensive guide to research on molecular communication. It starts by describing biological nanomachines, the basics of biological molecular communication and the microorganisms that use it. It then proceeds to engineered molecular communication and the molecular communication paradigm, with mathematical models of various types of molecular communication and a description of the information and communication theory of molecular communication. Finally, it presents the practical aspects of designing molecular communication systems including a review of the key applications.

    J5. T. Nakano, M. Moore, F. Wei, A. V. Vasilakos, J. Shuai, “Molecular Communication and Networking: Opportunities and Challenges”, IEEE Transactions on Nanobioscience, vol. 11, no. 2, pp. 135-148, 2012.

    This paper presents the state-of-the-art in the area of molecular communication by discussing its architecture, features, applications, design, engineering, and physical modeling. It also discusses challenges and opportunities in developing networking mechanisms and communication protocols to create a network from a large number of bio-nanomachines for future applications.

    Representative Projects

    P1. Molecular communication – standardization and medical applications. JSPS KAKENHI JP 17H00733. April 2017 – March 2022. JPY43,290,000. Principal Investigator: T. Nakano.

    This project (currently underway) aims to design and develop medical applications of molecular communication, and to standardize a set of protocols, models, tools to investigate medical applications of molecular communication. It focuses on drug delivery by bio-nanomachines in blood vessels and interactions between bio-nanomachines and cancer cells. Mathematical modelling, computer simulations and web laboratory experiments are to be conducted.

    P2. Inbody bionano-sensor networks: JSPS KAKENHI JP16K12416. JPY3,380,000. April 2016 – March 2018.

    This project (currently underway) explores epidemic-based mechanisms to quickly disseminate information among mobile bio-nanomachines. It first develops a model of bio-nanomachines based on the observation of how biological cells migrate in the environment. It then uses the model to simulate collective dynamics and evaluate the performance of the proposed information dissemination method. It also derives performance bounds analytically. Further, it shows how the proposed method apply to target detection and tracking applications.

    P3. Molecular communication – systems engineering. JSPS KAKENHI JP25240011. April. 2013 – March 2017. JPY 36,270,000. Principal Investigator: T. Nakano.

    This project investigated systems engineering methods for molecular communication. One of the research challenges in molecular communication is to develop interfaces between bio-nanomachines (a-c) and between a bio-nanomachine and an external device. This project extended the previously proposed architecture with these interfaces, performed proof-of-concept experiments, and conducted numerical experiments to demonstrate the potential of the extended architecture.

    P4. Biologically compatible communication systems. JSPS KAKENHI JP22680006. April. 2010 – March 2013. JPY 15,860,000. Principal Investigator: T. Nakano.

    This project investigated a biologically compatible communication system. In particular, this project focused on the design and engineering of networking mechanisms based on epithelial cells, gap junction channels and calcium signalling. It designed signal amplification mechanisms, identified through computer simulations conditions that signals are amplified and propagated, and validated the design through wet laboratory experiments.

    P5. Molecular communication – a new ICT paradigm. SCOPE. JPY16,126,000. August 2010 – March 2013. Principal Investigator: T. Nakano.

    This project investigated theoretically physical layer characteristics of molecular communication. It developed the mathematical and simulation models of diffusion-based molecular communication (A), confined diffusion-based molecular communication (B), reaction-diffusion-based molecular communication (C) and  diffusion-with-drift-based molecular communication (D), and identified their physical layer characteristics such as distance and speed of communication. This project also chose calcium signalling as an instance of molecular communication and investigated the physical layer characteristics.

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