Explanation of the Internet of Bio-Nano Things and its applications in neuroscience
Dr. Deirdre Kilbane is a funded investigator with FutureNeuro, The Science Foundation’s Irish Research Center for Chronic and Rare Neurological Diseases. In the interview she talks about networks, nanotechnology and quantum technologies.
You work at the Walton Institute in WIT. Where has your academic journey taken you so far?
I have a BSc in Experimental Physics from UCD and a PhD in Mathematical Physics from NUI Maynooth. I specialized in quantum chaos under the direction of Prof. Daniel Heffernan at the NUI Maynooth and Prof. Gerry O’Sullivan at the UCD. From 2014 to 2017 I worked as a research associate in the field of ultrafast surface science in Prof. to explore.
I am now the department head of the Emerging Networks Laboratory at the Walton Institute. Our vision is to develop innovative technologies for wireless 5G / 6G and quantum communication networks. The team’s background is in information communications science and we have a broad range of expertise in 5G wireless communications, Internet of Things (IoT), network security, and knowledge-based networks.
My own research combines nanotechnology, artificial intelligence and quantum physics to develop novel solutions for agriculture, healthcare and ICT. This spectrum of interests results from my work in three SFI research centers. I am a member of FutureNeuro (for neurodegenerative diseases), Connect (for communication networks) and VistaMilk (for the digitization of dairy products).
One of your current research focuses is the “Internet of Bio-Nano Things”. What is it exactly?
The Internet of Bio-Nano Things (IoBNT) combines tools from synthetic biology with nanotechnology to enable the development of biological embedded computing devices. Bioengineers use biological cells as programmable substrates to do bio-nano-things.
These base units can work with and interact with their biological environment. They perform typical tasks of embedded computing devices in the IoT, such as: B. capturing, processing, actuating and interacting with one another. Promising applications include in-body sensing and communication networks for monitoring disease and controlling toxins and pollution in our environment.
FutureNeuro announced PRIME, which uses nanotechnology to treat epilepsy patients. What attracted you to the project?
Our research director at the time, Prof. Sasitharan Balasubramaniam, and I were already working together on an SFI project called Nanomote, which combined the internet of bio-nano-things with my background in nanotechnology and artificial intelligence.
PRIME’s vision is to develop a synthetic living brain implant that can detect and suppress epileptic seizures before they occur. PRIME benefits from a groundbreaking discovery by our employees at FutureNeuro and RCSI, Prof. David Henshall and Prof. Jochen Prehn.
The number of transfer RNA molecules in patients increases before a seizure occurs. We will design biological cells to respond to the increase in these epilepsy biomarkers. The integration of molecular computer functions into the manipulated cells enables them to calculate the molecules captured and trigger the release of therapeutic molecules that inhibit the seizure.
ICT researchers at the Walton Institute are developing a simulation software design tool based on the molecular communication of molecules through neural tissue, biocomputers, and artificial intelligence to personalize the device.
Do you think there will be insights from PRIME that will feed into more general network research?
The multidisciplinary research in PRIME will enable a transformative diagnostic-therapeutic treatment of epilepsy and other neurological diseases. In the future, it may also be possible to adapt the basic principles of PRIME for the detection and treatment of other diseases with known biomarkers.
You are also interested in quantum technologies. Have you drawn attention to any areas of quantum communication research lately?
The extent of recent advances in the development of a global quantum internet. Global investment in quantum technology has reached $ 25 billion, with each supporting quantum physics to protect future communications networks against cyberattacks.
Researchers at the Walton Institute are investigating ground-based and satellite-based quantum communication networks as part of Connect.