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engineering ligand-REceptor INteractions FOR Molecular communicATIONs

Project description

Proteins and receptors could form the backbone of tomorrow’s communication networks

Nature-inspired technologies for communication or signal processing are garnering global attention. The lock-and-key construct provided by the receptor-ligand interaction can impart excellent selectivity, opening the door, so to speak, only when the right key is present. These types of molecular communications substrates could subserve nano-networks of devices, where information can be exchanged between devices by the absorption or emission of specific molecules. With the support of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions programme, the REINFORMATION project will characterise ligand-receptor interactions for optimisation in high data-rate and reliable molecular communications systems. Understanding will be enhanced by a novel experimental test and validation platform including proteins and receptors.


Molecular Communications (MC) is the nature’s way of networking at nanoscale, observed in almost all biological systems, including bacterial populations and nervous system. MC has been widely studied to enable the networks of artificial nanoscale devices promoting new high-impact applications such as intrabody continuous health monitoring with mobile nanosensor networks. At the core of the natural MC systems lies the ligand-receptor (LR) binding interactions, which provide the selectivity of information transfer. Likewise, LR interactions are essential for artificial MC systems to have a selective and reliable channel/receiver interface in the form of a biorecognition layer consisting of ligand receptors. Recent studies have revealed the dramatic impact of LR interactions on the overall MC performance in terms of channel bandwidth, molecular interference, receiver sensitivity and dynamic range, posing a multi-objective optimisation problem. The aim of REINFORMATION is to understand, optimise and engineer the LR interactions for high data-rate and reliable MC systems. To this end, the project will first deliver a realistic theoretical modelling and optimisation framework for MC accompanied by a microfluidic experimental test and validation platform with graphene aptasensor-based MC receivers. The framework will provide the first experimentally validated micro/nanoscale MC models, and enable the optimisation of binding affinity and kinetic rates of LR interactions from the MC perspective. The optimisation results will guide the rational design of new aptamer receptors for target information-carrying proteins, which will then be implemented on the experimental platform. The project will finally provide novel MC modulation and detection techniques, exploiting the LR interactions for high data-rate and reliable MC. Combining expertise in MC, nanotechnology, and computational biology, the project will remove a major barrier to the development of practical MC applications.


Net EU contribution
€ 145 355,52
34450 Istanbul

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İstanbul İstanbul İstanbul
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 145 355,52