Molecular Communications Pulse-Based Jamming Model for Bacterial Biofilm Suppression

Daniel P. Martins, Kantinan Leetanasaksakul, Michael Taynnan Barros, Arinthip Thamchaipenet, William Donnelly, Sasitharan Balasubramaniam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Studies have recently shown that the bacteria survivability within biofilms is responsible for the emergence of superbugs. The combat of bacterial infections, without enhancing its resistance to antibiotics, includes the use of nanoparticles to quench the quorum sensing of these biofilm-forming bacteria. Several sequential and parallel multi-stage communication processes are involved in the formation of biofilms. In this paper, we use proteomic data from a wet lab experiment to identify the communication channels that are vital to these processes.We also identified the main proteins from each channel and propose the use of jamming signals from synthetically engineered bacteria to suppress the production of those proteins. This biocompatible technique is based on synthetic biology and enables the inhibition of biofilm formation. We analyse the communications performance of the jamming process, by evaluating the path loss for a number of conditions that include different engineered bacterial population sizes, distances between the populations and molecular signal power. Our results show that sufficient molecular pulsebased jamming signals are able to prevent the biofilm formation by creating lossy communications channels (almost -3 dB for certain scenarios). From these results, we define the main design parameters to develop a fully operational bacteria-based jamming system.
Original languageEnglish
Article number8468188
Pages (from-to)533-542
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Nanobioscience
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018


  • Communications systems
  • biofilm suppression
  • jamming
  • synthetic logic circuits


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