Protocols for Nanocommunication Networks

Submission Deadline: 15 January 2019

IEEE Access invites manuscript submissions in the area of Protocols for Nanocommunication Networks.

Nanonetworking is one of the newest research trends in communication networks. Paved by the visionary “There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom” talk of future Nobel laureate Richard Feynman in 1959, the field has been made possible by recent advances in nanostructures and nanotechnology, as well as the deeper understanding and the ability to exploit the inherent biological processes of living organisms.

The above scientific advances have paved the way for the two areas of nanonetworking research i.e., a) biological/molecular nanonetworks and b) electromagnetically-based nanonetworks. In the former, communication is achieved through biological/molecular mechanisms, mostly via use of genetically modified bacteria or other microorganisms. In electromagnetic (EM) nanonetworks, artificial nanomachines communicate using electromagnetic radiation emitted by nanoantennas. In both areas, the nanonetwork is comprised of interconnected nanomachines having a size of a few hundred nanometers or a few micrometers at most, which are able to perform simple tasks such as sensing, computing, data storing and communication.

Nanonetworks can have a very significant impact in many areas, such as environmental research, surveillance, goods monitoring, Internet of Nano(bio)things, etc.  but are especially envisioned for medical practice. Potential applications in this area include personalized diagnosis, targeted and localized drug delivery, tumor cell detection and atherosclerosis (disease) detection.

Molecular and EM-based nanonetworks constitute the relay between two different environments for the physical layer of such networks. Differences are also sure to appear in the other layers of the network stack as well, mainly on those of layers 2 and 3, dealing with networking individual nano-nodes, either artificial ones communicating via electromagnetic waves, or biological ones. However, what is surely common in both categories is the demand for simple, lightweight protocols, that are resistant to node failures and random events. This is due to the size of the network nodes, which is in the order of microns, thus the functionalities that can be implemented in them are very limited.

The aim of this Special Section in IEEE Access is to report recent results in designing and evaluating protocols for the nanonetworking environment.

The topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Physical layer models for molecular and EM-based nanonetworks;
  • Design of artificial nanomachines, EM nanoparticles, and nanosensors for EM-based nanonetworks;
  • Design of engineered bacteria and molecules for molecular communications;
  • Medium Access Control protocols for molecular and EM-based nanonetworks;
  • Routing protocols for molecular and EM-based nanonetworks;
  • Transport-Layer approaches for molecular and EM-based nanonetworks;
  • Energy-efficient protocols for molecular and EM-based nanonetworks;
  • QoS provisioning in molecular and EM-based nanonetworks;
  • Performance evaluation approaches
  • Application-specific protocols for molecular and EM-based nanonetworks;
  • Security & reliability issues in molecular and EM-based nanonetworks

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Associate Editor:  Petros Nicopolitidis, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece.

Guest Editors:

  1. Anna Maria Vegni, RomaTre University, Italy
  2. Valeria Loscri, Inria Lille–Nord Europe, France
  3. Sasitharan Balasubramaniam, Waterford Institute of Technology, Ireland
  4. Tadashi Nakano, Osaka University, Japan
  5. Cindy Yang Yi, Virginia Tech, USA


Relevant IEEE Access Special Sections:

  1. Nano-antennas, Nano-transceivers, and Nano-networks / Communications
  2. Body Area Networks
  3. Emergent Topics for Mobile and Ubiquitous Systems in Smartphone, IoT, and Cloud Computing Era


IEEE Access Editor-in-Chief: Michael Pecht, Professor and Director, CALCE, University of Maryland

Paper submission: Contact Associate Editor and submit manuscript to:

For inquiries regarding this Special Section, please contact: