Noise analysis in ligand-binding reception for molecular communication in nanonetworks

Massimiliano Pierobon, Ian F. Akyildiz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

129 Scopus citations


Molecular communication (MC) will enable the exchange of information among nanoscale devices. In this novel bio-inspired communication paradigm, molecules are employed to encode, transmit and receive information. In the most general case, these molecules are propagated in the medium by means of free diffusion. An information theoretical analysis of diffusion-based MC is required to better understand the potential of this novel communication mechanism. The study and the modeling of the noise sources is of utmost importance for this analysis. The objective of this paper is to provide a mathematical study of the noise at the reception of the molecular information in a diffusion-based MC system when the ligand-binding reception is employed. The reference diffusion-based MC system for this analysis is the physical end-to-end model introduced in a previous work by the same authors, where the reception process is realized through ligand-binding chemical receptors. The reception noise is modeled in this paper by following two different approaches, namely, through the ligand-receptor kinetics and through the stochastic chemical kinetics. The ligand-receptor kinetics allows to simulate the random perturbations in the chemical processes of the reception, while the stochastic chemical kinetics provides the tools to derive a closed-form solution to the modeling of the reception noise. The ligand-receptor kinetics model is expressed through a block scheme, while the stochastic chemical kinetics results in the characterization of the reception noise using stochastic differential equations. Numerical results are provided to demonstrate that the analytical formulation of the reception noise in terms of stochastic chemical kinetics is compliant with the reception noise behavior resulting from the ligand-receptor kinetics simulations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5875906
Pages (from-to)4168-4182
Number of pages15
JournalIEEE Transactions on Signal Processing
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Chemical master equation
  • diffusion
  • ligand-receptor kinetics
  • molecular communication
  • nanonetworks
  • nanotechnology
  • reaction rate equation
  • stochastic chemical kinetics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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