Lehrstuhl für Informations- und Codierungstheorie

Journal Publication on Infectious Molecular Communication


M. Schurwanz, P.A. Hoeher, S. Bhattacharjee, M. Damrath, L. Stratmann, and F. Dressler, "Duality between coronavirus transmission and air-based macroscopic molecular communication," accepted for publication in IEEE Trans. on Molecular, Biological and Multi-scale Commun., Mar. 2021.


This contribution exploits the duality between a viral infection process and macroscopic air-based molecular communication. Airborne aerosol and droplet transmission through human respiratory processes is modeled as an instance of a multiuser molecular communication scenario employing respiratory-event-driven molecular variable-concentration shift keying. Modeling is aided by experiments that are motivated by a macroscopic air-based molecular communication testbed. In artificially induced coughs, a saturated aqueous solution containing a fluorescent dye mixed with saliva is released by an adult test person. The emitted particles are made visible by means of optical detection exploiting the fluorescent dye. The number of particles recorded is significantly higher in test series without mouth and nose protection than in those with a well-fitting medical mask. A simulation tool for macroscopic molecular communication processes is extended and used for estimating the transmission of infectious aerosols in different environments. Towards this goal, parameters obtained through self experiments are taken. The work is inspired by the recent outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.