During the 7th Workshop on Molecular Communications we organize a Testbed-presentation Session on Wednesday, April 12. In relaxed atmosphere the workshop attendees have the chance to inspect several MC testbeds either live or via stream.

Questions? Ask the Testbed Session Chairs


So far, the following groups have agreed to present their MC testbeds either live or via stream:

Chemical-reaction-based signal processing for reliable microfluidic Molecular Communication: Design and Prototype
Yansha Deng, King’s College London, UK

Description: A liquid-based microfluidic molecular communication (MIMIC) platform for signal processing over molecular domain and digital signal transmission over distances. The MIMIC platform consists of an MC transmitter with a signal shaping function, a propagation channel, and an MC receiver with signal thresholding, amplification, and detection functions. These time-varying signal processing functions are realized via specifically designed chemical reactions and microfluidic geometry and analysed using an ultraviolet-visible (UV-Vis) spectrometer. By encoding the bit information into the concentration of sodium hydroxide, our MIMIC platform can achieve molecular signal modulation and demodulation functionalities, and reliably transmit 100 bits over a distance of 25 meters, even at high transmission speeds.

Droplet-based Information Transmission in Microfluidic Chips
Medina Hamidović, Stefan Angerbauer, and Werner Haselmayr; Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria

Description: Portable and easily accessible droplet-based microfluidic testbed. Information is transmitted using fluorescent droplets that encode information in their distance and size. The droplet reception is conducted in a black box using ultraviolet light and a smartphone. The transmission and reception process can be controlled and observed via a graphical user interface. More details can be found here: https://dl.acm.org/doi/pdf/10.1145/3345312.3345482

Salinity-based Information Transmission in Microfluidic Chips
Medina Hamidović, Stefan Angerbauer, and Werner Haselmayr; Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria

Description: Portable and easily accessible microfluidic testbed. Information is transmitted using different salt concentrations, which are sensed at the receiver by conductivity measurements. The transmission and reception process can be controlled and observed via a graphical user interface. More details can be found here: https://dl.acm.org/doi/10.1145/3558583.3558867

Versatile testbed for molecular communication through microscopic vessels
Nunzio Tuccitto, University of Catania, Catania, Italy

Description: A laboratory-scale prototype for in-vitro testing of artificial molecular communication will be presented. TX consists of a dedicated injection system capable of modulating the amount and timing of chemical messenger release. It is equipped with an automated system for the release of multiple messengers and their mixtures. The figure on the left hand side schematizes the automated injection system.
The transmitter releases the messengers into the communication channel consisting of microfluidic tubes appropriately chosen in shape and size to simulate different vascular systems. The prototype platform has the ability to vary programmatically the desired flow rate to reproduce the physiological conditions to be investigated. A fluorescence spectrometer interfaced with a homemade DAC is used as a receiver. The key point of the demonstration will be the synthesis of fluorescent molecular messengers. The fundamental steps for the synthesis of fluorescent and biocompatible information nanoparticles will be shown.

Pocket Lab-on-Chip
LTE, FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany

Description: Lab-on-chip (LoC) technology is becoming increasingly relevant, especially in the field of medicine. However, often LoC setups rely on complex lab equipment for operation. The aim of this project is to create an affordable and portable LoC setup as a proof-of-concept for truly pocket-sized LoC – the Pocket LoC. 
Pocket LoC can be assembled with standard equipment found in a typical engineering lab (such as a maker space or FabLab). Once assembled, Pocket LoC is fully portable and only needs a PC to operate.
Pocket LoC can produce one continuous and three disperse phases, and detect optical droplet properties such as size and colour.  It is designed for use with transparent silicone chips.

Testbed for Macroscopic Molecular Communication
LTE, FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany

Description: This testbed for macroscopic molecular communication uses biocompatible magnetic nanoparticles (SPIONs) to transmit information in an active background flow. The particles are detected at the receiver based on their magnetic properties. A micropump is used to inject the magnetic nanoparticles at the transmitter. The testbed enables the investigation of different transmission schemes and the concept is principally applicable to medical use cases.

A testbed for validating cell to cell communications using yeast cells and pheromones
Nikolaos Ntetsikas, Styliana Kyriakoudi, Antonis Kirmizis, Andreas Pitsillides, Costas Pitris, Unluturk Bige, Ian F. Akyildiz, Marios Lestas
Frederick University Cyprus, University of Cyprus, Michigan State University, Truva Inc.

Description: We develop a new testbed for Molecular Communications using yeast cells. Yeast cells of the opposite mating type sense each other’s secreted pheromone to induce a response pathway that leads to mating and the generation of a fused diploid cell. In our experimental set-up we use MATa cells as ‘receiver’ cells bearing a reporter gene (pFIG1::eGFP) that will express Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) upon activation of their receptor by alpha-factor pheromone.

SEKELS MAGmuMAN – Permanent magnetic tool for contactless guiding of magnetic particles

Description: In many fields, the controlled contactless motion of ferromagnetic nanoparticles is of great importance. Examples are cell manipulation, cell sorting, magnetic drug targeting (MDT), hyperthermia and motion of suspended cells doped with nanoparticles. The SEKELS MAGµMAN system consists of several different annular magnetic subsystems which are based on the so-called Halbach priciple. It employs as well Halbach-dipole as -quadrupole arrangements which generate superimposed magnetic fields and scalable field gradients. Magnetic field gradients can be used to move magnetizable particles and motion stops when the gradient is switched off. The homogeneous field of the dipole causes reversible agglomeration of superparamagnetic particles which increases their speed compared to single particles moved by the same gradient field.

A Testbed of DNA based Molecular Communications
Yan Hao, Yuanhang Zhang, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China
Lin Lin, Tongji University, China

Description: A molecular communication (MC) testbed is developed with DNA as the information molecules. The testbed consists of a transmitter, a channel, and a receiver. The transmitter releases DNA molecules under the control of voltage signal. The channel is a liquid. DNA molecules propagate through the channel by diffusion and electric field. At the end of the channel, the DNA molecules are received by the receiver by the mechanism of complementary base pairing.