A Microfluidic Feed Forward Loop Pulse Generator for Molecular Communication

Yansha Deng, Massimiliano Pierobon, Arumugam Nallanathan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
256 Downloads (Pure)


The design of communication systems capable of processing and exchanging information through molecules and chemical processes is a rapidly growing interdisciplinary field, which holds the promise to revolutionize how we realize computing and communication devices. While molecular communication (MC) theory has had major developments in recent years, more practical aspects in the design and prototyping of components capable of MC functionalities remain less explored. In this paper, motivated by a bulk of MC literature on information transmission via molecular pulse modulation, the design of a pulse generator is proposed as an MC component able to output a predefined pulse-shaped molecular concentration upon a triggering input. The chemical processes at the basis of this pulse generator are inspired by how cells generate pulse-shaped molecular signals in biology. At the same time, the slow-speed, unreliability, and non-scalability of these processes in cells are overcome with a microfluidic-based implementation based on standard reproducible components with well-defined design parameters. Mathematical models are presented to demonstrate the analytical tractability of each component, and are validated against a numerical finite element simulation. Finally, the complete pulse generator design is implemented and simulated in a standard engineering software framework, where the predefined nature of the output pulse shape is demonstrated together with its dependence on practical design parameters.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2017 IEEE Global Communications Conference, GLOBECOM 2017 - Proceedings
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781509050192
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jan 2018
Event2017 IEEE Global Communications Conference, GLOBECOM 2017 - Singapore, Singapore
Duration: 4 Dec 20178 Dec 2017


Conference2017 IEEE Global Communications Conference, GLOBECOM 2017


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