Seminar: June 28, 2017

The Nanotechnology and Biotechnology Research Group @ EECS is pleased to present the following seminar.

Title: Using Molecular Communication to Understand and Improve Chemical Signaling
Speaker: Dr. Adam Noel, University of Ottawa

June 28, 2017, 1:30-2:30 PM, LAS 3033

Abstract: Many functions in the human body and other biological systems use molecules for signaling, control, and regulation. From the perspective of a communications engineer, these molecules are information carriers. Molecular communication (MC) is an emerging multi-disciplinary field that applies communications engineering tools to understand and design molecular signals. This field seeks to improve our understanding of biological systems and build networks of devices that could operate in fluids. Potential applications in medicine include treating neurological disorders, preventing the growth of cancerous tumors, and mitigating the impact of other illnesses that arise due to ineffective or unintended signaling. Other opportunities include the advancement of environmental monitoring and the design of lab-on-a-chip systems.

This talk will highlight our contributions to the modeling and analysis of MC systems. In particular, we focus on molecular diffusion, where the molecules of interest propagate randomly within a fluid. We discuss how channel impulse responses can account for various physical phenomena, including chemical reactions and bulk fluid flow. We describe communication systems that use a simple modulation scheme to transmit sequences of binary data, and measure the bit error performance of systems composed of one or more links. We also present an open source simulation platform that we developed for verifying analysis and exploring different environments. Finally, we discuss several areas of on-going and future work to use communications and signal processing tools to improve our understanding of biochemical processes and how to control them at a microscopic level.

Bio: Adam Noel is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Ottawa. He received the BEng degree in Electrical Engineering in 2009 from Memorial University in St. John’s, and both the MASc and PhD degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver in 2011 and 2015, respectively. In 2013, he was a Visiting Scientist at the Institute for Digital Communications at Friedrich-Alexander-University in Erlangen, Germany. Dr. Noel has received several NSERC awards and is currently holding an NSERC Postdoctoral Fellowship. He received a Best Paper Award at the 2016 IEEE International Conference on Communications, and was a Best Paper Finalist at the 2014 IEEE Global Communications Conference. His research is focused on the study of communication with chemical signals, and his contributions have been in the areas of channel modeling, communications performance, and simulation methods.