The preliminary Workshop program will be announced at a later date.

Confirmed Keynote Speakers

Wednesday, 13.07.2022, morning
Getting Practical with Molecular Communications

Dr. Murat Kuscu, Koç University, Turkey

Bio: Murat Kuscu is an Assistant Professor and an MSCA Fellow at the Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Koç University, Turkey, where he is also acting as the Director of Nano/Bio/Physical Information and Communications Laboratory, and the Associate Director of the Nanofabrication and Nanocharacterization Center (n2STAR). He received his PhD degrees in engineering from University of Cambridge, and in electrical and electronics engineering from Koç University. His current research interests include molecular communications, nanoscale biosensors, microfluidics, and Internet of Bio-Nano Things. He has received the University of Cambridge CAPE Acorn Post-graduate Research Award 2019, IEEE Turkey Ph.D. Thesis Award 2018, and Koç University Academic Excellence Award 2018 with his theoretical and experimental research on molecular communications.

Abstract: Molecular Communications (MC) is promising as a common communication modality among artificial micro/nanoscale devices and natural/synthetic biological entities. Although much has been done theoretically for exploring the promises and limitations of MC, the lack of experimental validations has led to a significant gap between theory and practice in many aspects. This issue has so far impeded the development of practical MC applications, and thus, been calling for more experimental research driven by truly interdisciplinary approaches. This talk will first provide a brief overview of recently proposed nanomaterial-based and synthetic biology-based practical MC transceiver architectures with an emphasis on our own attempt at fabricating micro/nanoscale MC receivers and microfluidic MC testbeds based on graphene and related nanomaterials. This overview will lead to a more extensive discussion on physically relevant challenges revealed by the recent MC experiments, such as those regarding the interference and noise in physiological environments, modelling, and optimisation in the face of nonlinearities, as well as the opportunities stemming from peculiar interactions at the bio-electronic interfaces. A particular focus will be paid to the promises of engineering ligand-receptor interactions for tackling the adaptivity, multi-access, co-existence and limited data-rate challenges of molecular communication networks.

Wednesday, 13.07.2022, afternoon
What shall we do? Ethics in Molecular Communication

Dr. Jens Kirchner, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität, Germany

Bio: Jens Kirchner received his doctorates from FAU in 2008 and 2016 in physics and in philosophy of science, respectively. Between 2008 and 2015 he worked at Biotronik SE & Co. KG in Erlangen and Berlin in the research and development of implantable cardiac sensors. Since 2015, he heads the research group for Medical Electronics & Multiphysics Systems at the Institute for Electronics Engineering at FAU. A strong focus of his research lies in molecular communication, particularly the design of experimental testbeds, including steering and detection of nanoparticles as well as optical sensors for microfluidic setups. Furthermore, J. Kirchner works on philosophical aspects of science and engineering, with focus on ethics.

Abstract: With the development of molecular communication (MC) as research field, a set of questions beyond the mere technical/scientific aspects of research gains importance: What impact does this technology have on society and its members? What can – and should – researcher do in their work given the impact of their work on others? Or, in short: What ethical aspects does research in MC comprise?
The talk tries to give an overview of ethical questions that can arise in MC and that will likely gain importance in the future. The talk will then focus on two particular topics: trade-offs between technical and ethical requirements in the design of MC systems as well as privacy and data protection issues.

Thursday, 14.07.2022, morning
Nanoparticles as suitable messengers for reliable molecular communication among implantable active medical devices

Prof. Nunzio Tuccitto, University of Catania, Italy

Bio: Prof. Nunzio Tuccitto received his PhD in chemistry in 2007. He is currently associate professor of physical chemistry at University of Catania, Italy. His research activity is focused on developing carbon-based fluorescent nano-materials for molecular communication through liquids. He has co-authored more than 80 scientific articles in international journals including Nature Materials, Nanoscale, Carbon, etc. His research group chemically synthesizes the nanoparticles and makes bench-top prototypes for experimental testing. He is a member of the Italian Chemical Society from which he recently received an award for his outstanding research into molecular communication.

Abstract: The concept of molecular communication has been extensively modelled both theoretically and computationally in the scientific community, but there are still relatively few examples of application. The topic is multidisciplinary by nature, the point of view of a chemist will be presented. Some experimental examples applied in the field of implantable medical devices will be presented. The problem is studied from a theoretical point of view by numerically solving the differential equation governing the phenomenon. The theoretical results are exploited to develop a prototype MoCo platform that allows the communication of temperature variations induced by infection through biological fluids to a receiver that has the task of releasing a drug for treatment. The enormous potential of nanoparticles as molecular messengers will be highlighted. In particular, their solubility in aqueous fluids, ease of detection and biocompatibility will be shown. Experimental results obtained using the chemical reactivity of these nanoparticles will be presented, allowing the application of modulation techniques based on chemical reactions. Our approach is easily scalable by modifying the chemical co-position of the particles or the sensing techniques, thus demonstrating, in our opinion, that the realisation and application of effective MoCo systems in vivo is getting very close.


Confirmed Tutorials

Friday, 15.07.2022, morning
From Physics to Biology and Beyond: A Tutorial on Mathematical Models and Methods for Molecular Communication

Organizers: Dr. Maximilian Schäfer, Sebastian Lotter, and Dr. Malcolm Egan

Abstract: This tutorial will begin with basic physical principles used to develop stochastic and deterministic models of reaction, diffusion, and convection systems of relevance to molecular communications. With these models in hand, we will then provide a basic toolbox for their analysis. As illustrative examples, we will consider receiver statistic analysis in complex MC channels, computation of information measures such as the mutual information, and more advanced scenarios motivated by biological systems.

Bios:

Maximilian Schäfer received the B.Sc., M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU), Germany. He worked with the chair of Multimedia Communication and Signal Processing, and now as a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Institute for Digital Communications at FAU. His research is focussed on multidimensional systems theory and the modeling of distributed parameter systems with applications in sound synthesis and molecular communications.

Sebastian Lotter received the B.Sc.~degree in Applied System Science from the University of Osnabrück, Germany, in 2011, and the M.Sc. in Advanced Signal Processing and Communications Engineering from Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany, in 2019, where he is currently pursuing the Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering with the Institute for Digital Communication. Sebastian received the Best Paper Award from the IEEE International Conference on Communications in 2020. His current research interests are in the field of molecular communication with focus on neural communication.

Malcolm Egan received the Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering in 2014 from the University of Sydney, Australia. He is currently a Chargé de Recherche (Tenured Research Scientist) in Inria and a member of CITI, a joint laboratory between Inria, INSA Lyon and Université de Lyon, France. Previously he was an Assistant Professor in INSA-Lyon, and a postdoctoral researcher with the Laboratoire de Mathématiques, Université Blaise Pascal, France and the Department of Computer Science, Czech Technical University in Prague, Czech Republic. He is also currently an associate editor for IEEE Communications Letters. His research interests are in the areas of information theory and statistical signal processing with applications in wireless and molecular communications.