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An Information Theoretical Analysis of Nanoscale Molecular Gap Junction Communication Channel Between Cardiomyocytes

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2 Author(s)
Kilinc, D. ; Dept. of Electr. & Electron. Eng., Koc Univ., Istanbul, Turkey ; Akan, O.B.

Molecular communication (MC) is a promising paradigm to communicate at nanoscale and it is inspired by nature. One of the MC methods in nature is the gap junction (GJ) communication between cardiomyocytes. The GJ communication is achieved by diffusion of ions through GJ channels between the cells. The transmission of the information is realized by means of the propagation of the action potential (AP) signal. The probabilities of both the AP propagation failure and the spontaneous AP initiation are obtained. For the first time in the literature, the GJ communication channel is modeled and analyzed from the information theoretical perspective to find the communication channel capacity. A closed-form expression is derived for the capacity of the GJ communication channel. The channel capacity, propagation delay, and information transmission rate are analyzed numerically for a three-cell network. The results of the numerical analyses point out a correlation between an increase in the incidence of several cardiac diseases and a decrease in the channel capacity, an increase in the propagation delay, and either an increase or a decrease in the transmission rate. The method that we use and results that are presented may help in the investigation, diagnosis, and treatment of cardiac diseases as well as help in the design of nanodevices communicating via GJ channels.

Published in:

Nanotechnology, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:12 ,  Issue: 2 )

Date of Publication:

March 2013

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