A Touch-Communication Framework for Drug Delivery Based on a Transient Microbot System

Vol. 14, No. 4

Recent progress in bioresorbable radio frequency electronics and engineered bacteria has promised the prospect of realizing a transient microbot (TM) system for therapeutic applications. The inorganic or organic miniature robots will dissolve into the human body after completing the required tasks and cause no side-effect. In this paper, we propose a potential architecture of a TM system for transporting pharmaceutical compounds inside the body, and analyze the system using a micro-to-macro cross-scale communication model. The remote controllability and tangibility of a TM essentially lead to a touch-communication (TouchCom) paradigm. Externally maneuverable and trackable TMs are responsible for the delivery of drug particles (information molecules in the TouchCom context). The loading/injection and unloading of the drug correspond to the transmitting and receiving processes in the TouchCom framework. Subsequently, we investigate simulation tools for the propagation and transient characteristics of TMs in the blood vessels. We also define the propagation delay, path loss, as well as angular and delay spectra of targeting intensity, which are parallel to their counterpart concepts in the conventional wireless channel. Finally, our approach is illustrated with comprehensive simulation studies of targeted drug delivery by using the proposed analytical framework integrating robotics and communications at crossover length scales. The proposed methodology may find important applications in the design and analysis of TM-assisted administration of pharmaceutical compounds.

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