Energy-Aware Tracking of Mobile Targets by Bacterial Nanonetworks

Nabiul Islam, Saswati Pal, Sasitharan Balasubramaniam, Sudip Misra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The functioning of bacterial nanonetworks as a 'drug delivery system' requires the engineered bacteria to track the targets, such as harmful micro-organisms, pathogens, or chemical weapons, to release drug molecules effectively. The coordinated and intelligent movement of energy-constrained engineered bacteria is desired for successful tracking of mobile targets. In this work, first, we analyze the energy consumption by engineered bacteria for releasing molecules and propagating for the tracking process. Then we show that the events of the release of molecules by engineered bacteria and their propagation are interlinked in such a way that the strategy of releasing attractants upon detecting the target is coupled to the energy available with the engineered bacteria. Based on the finding, we propose an energy-aware algorithm, named as EnPoS, which probabilistically selects a group of engineered bacteria among the deployed bacterial population to release signaling molecules over a particular time period in order for engineered bacteria to track the mobile targets. The simulation results show better performance of the proposed algorithm as compared with the basic algorithm incorporating continuous releasing of signaling molecules, concerning the energy expenses, mean displacement over time, and distribution of the engineered bacteria around the targets.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9076821
Pages (from-to)2808-2819
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 01 Sep 2021


  • bacterial nanonetwork
  • drug delivery system
  • energy-aware
  • Mobile target
  • target tracking


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