A molecular communication system model for particulate drug delivery systems

Youssef Chahibi, Massimiliano Pierobon, Sang Ok Song, Ian F. Akyildiz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

108 Scopus citations


The goal of a drug delivery system (DDS) is to convey a drug where the medication is needed, while, at the same time, preventing the drug from affecting other healthy parts of the body. Drugs composed of micro-or nano-sized particles (particulate DDS) that are able to cross barriers which prevent large particles from escaping the bloodstream are used in the most advanced solutions. Molecular communication (MC) is used as an abstraction of the propagation of drug particles in the body. MC is a new paradigm in communication research where the exchange of information is achieved through the propagation of molecules. Here, the transmitter is the drug injection, the receiver is the drug delivery, and the channel is realized by the transport of drug particles, thus enabling the analysis and design of a particulate DDS using communication tools. This is achieved by modeling the MC channel as two separate contributions, namely, the cardiovascular network model and the drug propagation network. The cardiovascular network model allows to analytically compute the blood velocity profile in every location of the cardiovascular system given the flow input by the heart. The drug propagation network model allows the analytical expression of the drug delivery rate at the targeted site given the drug injection rate. Numerical results are also presented to assess the flexibility and accuracy of the developed model. The study of novel optimization techniques for a more effective and less invasive drug delivery will be aided by this model, while paving the way for novel communication techniques for Intrabody communication networks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6548006
Pages (from-to)3468-3483
Number of pages16
JournalIEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Advection-diffusion equation
  • Navier-Stokes equation
  • communication channels
  • molecular communication
  • nanonetworks
  • targeted drug delivery
  • time-varying channels
  • transmission line modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering

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