Utilizing Neurons for Digital Logic Circuits: A Molecular Communications Analysis

Geoflly L. Adonias, Anastasia Yastrebova, Michael Taynnan Barros, Yevgeni Koucheryavy, Frances Cleary, Sasitharan Balasubramaniam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)


With the advancement of synthetic biology, several new tools have been conceptualized over the years as alternative treatments for current medical procedures. As part of this work, we investigate how synthetically engineered neurons can operate as digital logic gates that can be used towards bio-computing inside the brain and its impact on epileptic seizure-like behaviour. We quantify the accuracy of logic gates under high firing rates amid a network of neurons and by how much it can smooth out uncontrolled neuronal firings. To test the efficacy of our method, simulations composed of computational models of neurons connected in a structure that represents a logic gate are performed. Our simulations demonstrate the accuracy of performing the correct logic operation, and how specific properties such as the firing rate can play an important role in the accuracy. As part of the analysis, the mean squared error is used to quantify the quality of our proposed model and predict the accurate operation of a gate based on different sampling frequencies. As an application, the logic gates were used to smooth out epileptic seizure-like activity in a biological neuronal network, where the results demonstrated the effectiveness of reducing its mean firing rate. Our proposed system has the potential to be used in future approaches to treating neurological conditions in the brain.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9007482
Pages (from-to)224-236
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Nanobioscience
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 01 Apr 2020


  • Logic gates;Neurons;Computational modeling;Biological system modeling;Brain modeling;Synthetic biology;Logic gates;synthetic biology;nano communications;nanonetworks;Boolean algebra


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