Research News: Meet the Bio-Nano Team

By 12th February 2019 No Comments

We previously introduced you to the MEPS (Mobile Ecosystem and Pervasive Sensing) research team, now we delve deeper into the thematic areas the team are concentrating their research on.

Bio-Nano Team: Who are they and what are they researching?

The Bio-Nano sub-unit of MEPS aims to revolutionize the hot topics of molecular communications and nanonetworks by developing future technology for healthcare and well-being with a multidisciplinary approach based on ICT, synthetic biology and precision medicine. We believe that precision medicine can be achieve by creating synthetic communication systems inside the body that have Internet connections (Internet of Bio-Nano Things), that provides diagnosis and treatment of diseases remotely at cellular level. Our focus comprises of use-cases that are currently the biggest challenges in both biotechnology and medicine, including theoretical frameworks for the diagnosis and treatment of Zika, Cancer, Neurodegeneration (Alzheimer’s, Epilepsy, Parkinson’s) and Infections (Biofilm). We provide a number of projects (P1-P8) that are currently being developed inside the Bio-Nano team:

P1: Externally controllable molecular communications, autonomously monitoring tumour evolution and recurrence. Change in cancer therapy.

P2: Control Theory in molecular communications for treatment of Alzheimer’s disease

P3: Bio-communications with nano-networks for biomedical applications

P4: Communications networks that can interconnect multiple nano-machines

P5: Security of the Brain with implantable devices

P6: Decode Head Movement of Mouse by head direction cell spike

P7: Programming Bacterial Nano-network’s to dissolve Bio-films at multiple sites

P8: End-to-end analysis of Neuro-spike communication in the visual pathway

Team Profile

Team Lead: Dr. Michael Taynnan Barros, Experienced Post-Doc Researcher, P1,P2,P3, P4, P5 & P8

Research overview: I am to provide solutions to the dual goal of 1) to utilize natural molecular communications systems to create artificial bio-compatible communication networks that can interconnect multiple nano-machines and 2) provide a further understanding of biological communication systems with information and communication theory. Moreover, I want to provide the technology that enables these intra-body molecular communications networks to be connected to the internet using nano-networks based on ultrasound and back-scattering communication for wireless power and information transfer. I apply these concepts for the diagnosis and treatment of diseases that include: Alzheimer’s, Zika and Cancer.

Dr. Alberto Huertas, Post-Doc Researcher, P4 & P5

Research overview: I aim to provide an automatic management of the neurosecurity of wireless optogenetics nanonetwork composing BCI-Internet paradigm. This goal will be materialized as a result of the project in a highly dynamic and autonomic framework. This framework will be designed, implemented, and validated in a realistic Alzheimer’s scenario where different attacks will be detected and mitigated by considering Network Slicing, Network Function Virtualization, and Software Defined Networking techniques.

Dr. Nabiul Islam, Post-Doc Researcher, P6 & P7)

Research overview: In-line with Horizon 2020 on antimicrobial resistance research, the proposed project is aimed to undertake a multidisciplinary approach by integrating communication and networking technology with synthetic biology to utilize bacterial nanonetworks as personalized healthcare provisioning for bacterial biofilm-associated chronic diseases. In context of biofilm-associated medical treatment, we aim to address the fundamental challenge which is to enable swarm of engineered bacteria reach biofilm-forming sites and release precise amount of anti-microbial enzyme that is required to eradicate the biofilms within a specific time frame.

Mr. Geoffly Adonias, PhD student, P8

Research overview: I am currently working on a concept of a brain-computer interface with the capabilities of sensing and processing neuronal signaling in order to modulate artificial information through the neuronal network of the cortex that will minimize interference with the natural signaling.

Publications (since 2017)

  • Michael Taynnan Barros, and Subhrakanti Dey.Feed-forward and Feedback Control in Astrocytes for Ca2+-based Molecular Communications NanonetworksTo appear in the IEEE/ACM Transactions on Computational Biology and Bioinformatics , 2019.
  • Michael Taynnan Barros, Walisson Silva, and Danilo Regis.The Multi-Scale Impact of the Alzheimer’s Disease in the Topology Diversity of Astrocytes Molecular Communications NanonetworksTo appear in the IEEE Access , 2018.
  • Daniel P. Martins, Michael Taynnan Barros, Massimiliano Pierobon, Menashi Kandhavelu, Pietro Lio’, and Sasitharan Balasubramaniam. Computational Models for Trapping Ebola Virus Using Engineered BacteriaTo appear in the IEEE/ACM Transactions on Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, 2018.
  • Daniel P. Martins, K. Leetanasaksakul, Michael Taynnan Barros, A. Thamchaipenet, Willie Donnely, and Sasitharan Balasubramaniam. Molecular Communications Pulse Jamming Model for Bacterial Biofilm Suppression.To appear in the IEEE Transactions on Nanobioscience , 2018.
  • Sasitharan Balasubramaniam, Stefanus A Wirdatmadja, Michael Taynnan Barros, Yevgeni Koucheryavy, Michal Stachowiak, and Josep Miquel Jornet. Wireless Communications for Optogenetics: Present Technology and Future Challenges.IEEE Communications Magazine 56(7):218–224, 2018.
  • Alberto Huertas Celdrán, Manuel Gil Pérez, Félix J. García Clemente, and Gregorio Martínez Pérez, Sustainable securing of Medical Cyber-Physical Systems for the healthcare of the future,Sustainable Computing: Informatics and Systems, vol.19, pp. 138-146, September 2018.
  • Islam, S. Misra, and M. S. Hussain. NetADD: Network Flow-Based Distributed Topology Control on Addressing Asymmetric Data Delivery in Nanonetworks. IEEE transactions on nanobioscience17(4), pp.456-463. 2018
  • Stefanus A Wirdatmadja, Michael Taynnan Barros, Yevgeni Koucheryavy, Josep Miquel Jornet, and Sasitharan Balasubramaniam. Wireless Optogenetic Nanonetworks for Brain Stimulation: Device Model and Charging ProtocolsIEEE Transactions on Nanobioscience16(8), 2017. (doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/TNB.2017.2781150)
  • Michael Taynnan Barros. Ca2+-signaling-based molecular communication systems: design and future research directions.Nano Communication Networks 11(1):103-113, 2017. (doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nancom.2017.02.001)
  • Michael Taynnan Barros.Capacity of the Hierarchical Cortical Microcircuit Communication Channel. In The 5th IEEE/ACM Conference on Nanoscale Computing and Communication (IEEE/ACM NanoCom) , 2018.
  • Geoffly Adonias, Michael Taynnan Barros, Linda Doyle, and Sasitharan Balasubramaniam.Utilising EEG Signals for Modulating Neural Molecular Communications. In The 5th IEEE/ACM Conference on Nanoscale Computing and Communication (IEEE/ACM NanoCom) , 2018.
  • Michael Taynnan Barros, and Subhrakanti Dey. Set Point Regulation of Astrocyte Intracellular Ca2+ Signalling, pages 73-86. In The 17th IEEE International Conference on Nanotechnology (IEEE NANO 2017) , 201