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Scalable Localization-enabled In-body Terahertz Nanonetwork


Nanotechnology is paving the way toward nanoscale devices that are envisioned to enable several groundbreaking healthcare applications, such as molecular-level cancer detection, targeted drug delivery, and neurosurgeries. The nanodevices are expected to flow through the human body, perform actions upon commands or at certain locations, and communicate the results to the outside world. There is, therefore, a need to enable two-way communication between the nanodevices and the outside world, as well as their localization inside the body. These functionalities should be supported while simultaneously maintaining tiny form factors and a low energy consumption profile of a potentially vast number of nanodevices. In the ScaLeITN project, I will utilize wireless signals in the terahertz (THz) frequencies for enabling both localization and communication capabilities for in-body nanodevices. Localization will be enabled through THz backscattering, which is an unexplored paradigm that promises low energy and high precision localization at the nanoscale. The constrained communication range characteristic for in-body THz propagation will be mitigated through multi-hop communication. In such communication, only a selected subset of nanodevices in the multi-hop route will be awoken by utilizing wake-up radio-like signals. Selection of these nanodevices will be based on their location estimates, as well as on their energy lifecycle characterizations if available through backscattering. This is again a novel paradigm that promises enabling low power, reliable, and scalable THz nanocommunication. The main outcome of the project is to develop a pioneering prototype of a THz nanonetwork with both localization and two-way communication capabilities. Market valorization of the prototype is envisioned during and beyond the scope of the project through the Collider and i.start, two academic innovation programmes for supporting scientists in developing disruptive technology-based products.

Call for proposal

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Funding Scheme

MSCA-IF-EF-ST - Standard EF
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Prinsstraat 13
2000 Antwerpen
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 178 320