Nanotechnologies promise new solutions for several applications in biomedical, industrial
and military fields. At nano-scale, a nano-machine can be considered as the most basic functional
unit. Nano-machines are tiny components consisting of an arranged set of molecules,
which are able to perform very simple tasks. Nanonetworks.
Published on: Mar 3, 2016
Transcripts - Nanonetworks
Submitted By : Ms. Yojana
M.E.(I.T.) - sem II
Overview of nano-machines
Traditional communication networks
Communication among nano-machines
The concepts in nanotechnology was first
pointed out by the 1965 nobel laureate physicist
“Nanotechnology mainly consists of the
processing of, separation, consolidation, and
deformation of materials by one atom or by one
Nanotechnology enables the miniaturization and
fabrication of devices in a scale ranging from 1 to
Nano-machines can be interconnected to
execute collaborative tasks in a distributed
Communication between nano-machines can be
realized through nanomechanical, acoustic,
electromagnetic and chemical or molecular
‘‘Nanonetworks” refers to electronic components
and their interconnection within a single chip on
a nano-scale, is also known as Network on Chip
A nano-machine is defined as ‘‘an artificial
eutactic mechanical device that relies on
nanometer-scale components”. Also the term
‘‘molecular machine” is defined as ‘‘a mechanical
device that performs a useful function using
components of nanometer-scale and defined
molecular structure; includes both artificial nano-
machines and naturally occurring devices found
in biological systems”.
There are 3 different approches for the
development of nano-machines.
Top-down approach :
• Focused on the development of nano-scale
objects by downscaling current existing micro-
scale level device components.
• nano-machines are developed by means of
downscaling current microelectronic and micro-
electro-mechanical technologies without atomic
• Using for only simple mechanical structures, such
Bottom-up approach :
• Nano-machines are developed using individual
molecules as the building blocks.
• Nano-machines are developed by means of
downscaling current microelectronic and micro-
electro- mechanical technologies without atomic
• Using for current developments such as molecular
switches and molecular shuttles.
Bio-hybrid approach :
• Biological nano-machines in cell include: nano-
biosensors, nanoactuators, biological data storing
components, tools and control units.
• Proposes the use of these biological nano-
machines as models to develop new nano-
machines or to use them as building blocks
integrating them into more complex systems such
• Using for use of bacteria as controlled propulsion
mechanisms for the transport of micro-scale
Expected features of future nano-
• Self-contained : each nano-machine will contain a set
of instructions or code to realize the intended task
• Self-assembled : several disordered elements form an
organized structure without external intervention
• Self-replication : a device makes a copy of itself using
• Locomotion : ability to move from one place to another
• Communication : realize more complex tasks in a
could consist of one or more components,
resulting in different levels of complexity, which
could be from simple molecular switches to
The most complete nano-machines will include
the following architecture components:
1) Control Unit : It is aimed at executing the instructions
to perform the intended tasks & include a storage unit,
in which the information of the nano-machine is saved.
2) Communication unit : It consists of a transceiver able
to transmit and receive messages at nano-level, e.g.,
3) Reproduction unit : The function of this unit is to
fabricate each component of the nano-machine using
external elements, and then assemble them to
replicate the nano-machine.
4) Power unit : This unit is aimed at powering all the
components of the nano-machine.
5) Sensor and actuators : These components act as an
interface between the environment and the nano-
• Immune system support
• Bio-hybrid implants
• Drug delivery systems
• Health monitoring
• Genetic engineering
Industrial and consumer goods applications
• Functionalized materials and fabrics
• Food and water quality control
• Nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) defenses
• Nano-functionalized equipments
• Animals and biodiversity control
• Air pollution control
Nano-machines communication can include the
two following bidirectional scenarios:
(1) Communication between a nano-machine and a larger
system such as electronic micro-devices, and
(2) Communication between two or more nano-machines.
Different communication technologies, such as
electromagnetic, acoustic, nano-mechanical or
Communication based on electromagnetic
waves is the most common technique to
interconnect microelectronic devices. These
waves can propagate with minimal losses along
wires or through air.
Acoustic communication is mainly based on the
transmission of ultrasonic waves, implies the
integration of ultrasonic transducers in the nano-
Nanomechanical communication, the information
is transmitted through hard junctions between
linked devices at nano-level. The main drawback
of this type of communication is that a physical
contact between the transmitter and the receiver
Molecular communication is defined as the
transmission and reception of information
encoded in molecules, a new and
interdisciplinary field that spans nano, bio and
Communication Traditional Molecular
Communication carrier Electromagnetic waves Molecules
Signal type Electronic & optical Chemical
Propagation speed Light Extremely slow
Medium conditions Wired : Almost immune
Wireless : Affect
Noise Electromagnetic fields
Particles and molecules
Encoded information Voice, text and video Phenomena, chemical
states or processes
Other features High energy
Low energy consumption
Biological nanonetworks are used for intra-cell,
inter-cell and intra-specie communication. Intra-
cell and inter-cell communication are referred as
short-range techniques due to the size of living
cells and their internal components.
Intra-cell communications are based on
molecular motors, use as information shuttles or
communication carriers for nano-machines within
a short-range has been widely proposed
Inter-cells, molecular motors are aimed at
transporting essential particles among organelles
during different stages of the cell life cycle.
Communication features :
• Molecular communication enabled by molecular
motors takes place in aqueous medium, the
communication process includes one transmitter and
only one receiver.
Communication process using molecular motors
• used to carry vesicles containing information
molecules that are transmitted from the transmitter to
the receiver includes tasks :
Encoding : involves the generation of the information
Transmission : establish the process to attach the
information packet to carrier molecules in an accurate way
Propagation : refers to the movement of information
molecules through the medium
Reception : molecular motors containing information
molecules arrive at the receiver nano-machine
Decoding : receiver nano-machine invokes the desired
reaction according to the received information molecule
Inter-cell communication based on calcium
signaling is one of the most well-known
molecular communication techniques. It is
responsible for many coordinated cellular tasks
such as fertilization, contraction or secretion.
Calcium signaling is used in two different
• It can be used to exchange information among cells
physically located one next to each OR
• among cells deployed separately without any physical
The sequential propagation of the chemosignals
driven by different messengers is known as the
chemosignal pathway. One messenger transports
the information until certain point of the pathway
where the information is transferred to another
The information transfer from one messenger to
another continues until the information reaches its
destination. This multimessenger propagation
scheme presents two advantages.
• First, the signal can be amplified at different levels of
the chemosignal pathway
• Second, we could use a set of messengers, i.e.,
chemical agents, to obtain different signal transduction
and decoding results.
Communication features : propagation of the
information can be performed in two different
schemes depending on the deployment of the
• Direct access : If nano-machines are physically
connected, Ca2+ signals travel from one nano-
machine to the next one through the gates
• Indirect access : If the nano-machines are not in direct
contact, the transmitter nano-machine should be able
to release the information molecules to the medium as
first messenger in the chemosignal pathway.
Communication process within calcium signaling
• In direct & indirect access, the communication process
based on calcium signaling includes the following
Encoding : generation of the information molecules
Transmission : involves the signaling initiation
Signal propagation : controlled varying the permeability of
the gates or gap junctions OR information can be
described by using diffusion or Brownian motion models
Reception : establishes gap junction OR detect different
Decoding : multiple receivers can decode the same
Distance between transmitter and receiver nano-
machines ranges from millimeters up to
Pheromones can be defined as molecular
compounds containing information that can only
be decoded by specific receivers and can invoke
certain reactions in them.
Pheromonal communication is used to build
complex networks including micro and
macroscale mobile actors.
• Communication is based on the release of molecules
that can be detected by a receiver.
• In long-range nanonetworks the channel cannot be
modeled as a deterministic neither a physical link
between transmitter and receiver.
• A key feature in long-range communication using
pheromones is the coding system.
Long-range pheromonal communication process
• The communication process includes five tasks :
Encoding : includes the selection of the specific
pheromones or appropriate molecules to transmit the
information and produce the reaction at the intended
Transmission: releasing the selected pheromones during
the encoding process to the medium.
Propagation : modeled using diffusion processes where
each molecule is subjected to Brownian motion
Reception : it can use receptor proteins to detach the
molecule from the carrier
Decoding : interpretation ofthe information transmitted or
the reaction invoked by the received message
The interest in nanotechnologies is growing
while more applications are being proposed.
The potential impact of these technologies
leverages the continuous development of new
tools, such as simulators, scanning probe
microscopes, or lithograph machines able to
pattern nano-metric structures.
Using nanonetworks, nano-machines can be
interconnected to realize more complex tasks in
a coordinated and complementary manner
Recently, two molecular communication
schemes have been proposed based on natural
models. These schemes are based on inter and
intra-cell molecular communication techniques.
The nanonetworks development roadmap
includes several stages, in which an
interdisciplinary scientific approach is needed to
address all the posted research challenges.
Development of nano-machines, testbeds and
• first phases in the nanonetworks roadmap is aimed at
developing nano-machines including molecular
• Latest efforts on nanotechnologies enabled the
creation of functional nano-structures introduce
switching, memory, & light-emitting behaviors
• Despite the current existence of simulation tools for
molecular assembly, and biological and genetic
systems, there is none for nanonetworks up to now.
Theoretical approach: basis for a new
A typical communication process includes the
• The encoding phase in which the transmitter forms the
• The transmission or release of these molecules to the
• The propagation of the information molecules trough
• The reception of the information molecules.
• The decoding of the received information molecules.
Knowledge transfer: architectures and protocols
• A medium access control (MAC) protocol is needed to
define and apply mechanisms to ensure a fair use of
• In biological molecular communications, most of the
channel access schemes are based on code division.
• Medium access technique used by biological systems
is based on the modulation in frequency (FM) &
amplitude (AM) of the molecular signal.
• For more complex networks, an addressing scheme is
needed. The packet should include the information
about its origin and destination to allow bidirectional
and multihop communications.
The development of nanotechnologies will
continue & will have a great impact in almost
The use and control of these technologies will be
a major advantage in economics, homeland
security, sustainable growth and healthcare.
An interdisciplinary approach, information and
communication technologies (ICT) called to be a
key contributor for the evolution of the