Real-time monitoring of medical test parameters as well as biological and chemical substances inside the human body is an aspiration which might facilitate the control of pathologies and would ensure better effectiveness in diagnostics and treatments. Future Body Area NanoNetworks (BANN) represent an ongoing effort to complement these initiatives, although due to its early stage of development, further research is required. This paper contributes with a hierarchical BANN architecture consisting of two types of nanodevices, namely, nanonodes and a nanorouter, which are conceptually designed using technologically available electronic components. A straightforward communication scheme operating at the THz band for the exchange of information among nanodevices is also proposed. Communications are conducted in a human hand scenario since, unlike other parts of the human body, the negative impact of path loss and molecular absorption noise on the propagation of electromagnetic waves in biological tissues is mitigated. However, data transmission is restricted by the tiny size of nanodevices and their extremely limited energy storing capability. To overcome this concern, nanodevices must be powered through the bloodstream and external ultrasound energy harvesting sources. Under these conditions, the necessary energy and its management have been thoroughly examined and assessed. The results obtained reveal the outstanding ability of nanonodes to recharge, thus enabling each pair of nanonode–nanorouter to communicate every 52 min. This apparently long period is compensated by the considerably high number of nanonodes in the network, which satisfies a quasi-constant monitoring of medical parameter readings.
Nanonetworks will be a powerful technological solution enabling the detection, acquisition and monitoring of physical magnitudes in application scenarios which are hitherto unimaginable. It is even possible to foresee data processing, the communication of results, and decision-making tasks, all being carried out on a nanoscale level and with unprecedented accuracy. Medical parameters such as body temperature, glucose levels or cancer biomarker detection will be gathered in real-time and dispatched to remote destinations through nanodevices (in this work, for nanodevices we mean nanomachines based on electronics with a scale measured in nanometers), which will play an important role in the field of nanonetworking. In this regard, one of the most promising applications of nanonetworks is their use as Body Area NanoNetworks (BANN); in which, for instance, interconnected nanodevices flow into the bloodstream, reporting information to specialist external personnel (e.g. doctors) or information processing systems (e.g. Big Data paradigm).
However, the design, implementation and deployment of nanonetworks in a living biological environment poses considerable problems, which must be overcome; in turn presenting challenges in many different research fieldssuch as signal propagation, antennas, and information technology, among others. The extremely high electromagnetic (EM) frequencies required for communication among nanodevices (expected in the THz band) together with the particular channel requirements in biological tissues (extremely high path loss and molecular absorption noise values) restrict signal propagation. A possible approach consists of increasing transmission power in order to successfully send/receive data. However, due to the tiny size of nanodevices, their available energy is highly limited. Under these circumstances, a trade-off between both concerns (transmission power and consumed energy) must be analyzed and quantified. Unfortunately, according to the best of our knowledge, few studies in literature tackle this problem.
The Nano Communication Networks Journal is an international, archival and multi-disciplinary journal providing a publication vehicle for complete coverage of all topics of interest to those involved in all aspects of nanoscale communication and networking.
Molecular Communications is the natural communication technique used by living organisms (e.g.insects communicating via pheromones) and is envisioned to become aviable method for future nano devices. Concentration of the molecule at close proximity of the receiver may be used to understand the molecular bit transmitter sent.
Nano Communications is the area of research for finding efficient means of communication for the future nanodevices. These devices are planned to have a wide range of application areas. Today, research on nano-communications is divided into two main streams:
- EM Nano Communications and
- Molecular Nano-Communications.