Index Modulation for Molecular Communication via Diffusion Systems

Mustafa Can Gursoy, Ertugrul Basar, Ali Emre Pusane, Tuna Tugcu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Molecular communication via diffusion (MCvD) is a molecular communication method that utilizes the free diffusion of carrier molecules to transfer information at the nanoscale. Due to the random propagation of carrier molecules, intersymbol interference (ISI) is a major issue in an MCvD system. Alongside ISI, interlink interference (ILI) is also an issue that increases the total interference for the MCvD-based multiple-input-multiple-output (MIMO) approaches. Inspired by the antenna index modulation (IM) concept in traditional communication systems, this paper introduces novel IM-based transmission schemes for MCvD systems. In this paper, molecular space shift keying (MSSK) is proposed as a novel modulation for molecular MIMO systems, and it is found that this method combats ISI and ILI considerably better than the existing MIMO approaches. For nanomachines that have access to two different molecules, the direct extension of MSSK, quadrature MSSK (QMSSK) is also proposed. QMSSK is found to combat ISI considerably well while not performing well against ILI-caused errors. In order to combat ILI more effectively, another dual-molecule-based novel modulation scheme called the molecular spatial modulation (MSM) is proposed. Combined with the Gray mapping imposed on the antenna indices, MSM is observed to yield reliable error rates for molecular MIMO systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8638834
Pages (from-to)3337-3350
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Communications
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • MIMO systems
  • Molecular communications
  • index modulation
  • nanonetworks
  • spatial modulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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