One of the three young scientists selected from Boğaziçi University, Dr. Lecturer Sema Dumanlı Oktar is working for the “AntennAlive” project, a technology that will be able to monitor the events taking place in the body in real time and bring together synthetic biology and electronic engineering.
Boğaziçi University Electrical and Electronics Engineering Department academic staff member Dr. Lecturer Sema Dumanlı Oktar's "AntennAlive" project by Sema Dumanlı Oktar, using implant antennas reconstructed with genetically modified bacteria, will be able to monitor developments in the human body in real time. This year, the project, which managed to receive 2247 million TL from the TÜBİTAK Scientist Support Programs Directorate "1-A National Leading Researchers Program", is aimed to be a pioneer in the field of bioengineering.
One of the three young scientists selected from Boğaziçi University, Dr. Lecturer Sema Dumanlı Oktar is working for the “AntennAlive” project, a technology that will be able to monitor the events taking place in the body in real time and bring together synthetic biology and electronic engineering. Dr. Lecturer The project developed at Boğaziçi University Antenna and Propagation Research Laboratory BOUNTENNA, which was established in 2247 by its member Dumanlı, will enable a brand new area to emerge with the "semi-live" antenna concept according to the scientist. Oktar describes the "AntennAlive" project as follows:
"Inside the body is live"
A lot of work has been done on reconfigurable antennas, but so far, no reconstruction has been done using living cells. Our project will be a biodegradable implant antenna controlled by genetically engineered bacteria, followed by a wearable antenna system. This system will be used as a gateway between structures communicating at the nanoscale and electronic devices operating at human scale. The ultimate goal of this gateway, which will bridge between "Molecular Nano Communication Networks" (MNCN) and "Body Area Networks" (BAN), which are used to carry messages in the human body, is to ensure that the events taking place in the body are monitored in real time as if they were live. Thus, many developments that occur in the body such as cancer cells, hormones and blood values can be followed.
"A groundbreaking project"
AntennAlive is a groundbreaking project that will launch a brand new research area where antenna design meets genetically modified cells. MNCNs are used to carry messages within the human body using molecules. However, for a message to reach BAN, a conversion between molecular linkage and electromagnetic linkage is required. It is a popular prediction among these groups that this transformation will be accomplished with "active" microwave sensors placed in the body. However, we are proceeding in a different way. Contrary to this prediction, "AntennAlive" aims to bring MNCNs one step closer to observing the body by using a semi-alive, battery-free, in other words passive implant. While we are using genetically engineered bacteria here, our concept is not limited to bacteria. Our project can be extended to cells such as genetically modified muscle tissue where contractions and relaxations rebuild the antenna.
"No need for surgical procedure"
Our project brings together synthetic biology and electronic engineering, creating a brand new field with its living antenna concept. Another innovative aspect of our project is that the implant placed in the body is biodegradable and dissolves completely after finishing its task. Thus, there will be no need for an additional surgical procedure to remove the implant communication devices from the body. I will run this project at Boğaziçi University Antenna and Propagation Research Laboratory that I established in 2019. In addition to the research fund we received from TÜBİTAK, a total of five doctoral and post-doctoral researchers will be funded to work with our team. In this project, Bilkent University National Nanotechnology Research Center (UNAM) Faculty Member Assoc. Dr. Urartu Özgür Şafak Şeker and Boğaziçi University Electrical and Electronics Engineering Department Faculty Member Prof. Dr. We are working with Arda Deniz Yalçınkaya. In addition, the outputs of our project are Prof. Dr. Tuna Tuğcu, Assoc. Dr. Ali Emre Pusane, Dr. Lecturer Birkan Yılmaz and Dr. It will also be a part of the research carried out at BOUN Nanonetworking Research Group (NRG), of which Cansu Canbek is our partner.