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As Wireless applications become more popular in everyday life, the importance of flexible communication protocols rises higher. The limited resources and time-critical nature of wireless sensor networks (WSNs) must be addressed by the network layer, as one of the most mandatory communication components to support routing capabilities in multi-hop mobile sensor nodes' topologies. WSN application particularities are analyzed in order to form the design framework for an adaptive routing algorithm that can address all WSN needs. The routing algorithm can achieve the WSNs objectives with low communication and energy overhead while meeting QoS and congestion requirements. Furthermore, a holistic system-level design approach is followed to integrate network particularities and application requirements and constraints in order to provide a communication-efficient, energy-aware system.