Cell Rover: An Intracellular Antenna for Radio Communication in 3D Biological Systems

Deblina Sarkar

B. Joy and D. Sarkar, "Cell Rover: An Intracellular Antenna for Radio Communication in 3D Biological Systems," 2023 IEEE International Symposium on Antennas and Propagation and USNC-URSI Radio Science Meeting (USNC-URSI), Portland, OR, USA, 2023, pp. 1381-1382, doi: 10.1109/USNC-URSI52151.2023.10237858.


An intracellular antenna can enable wireless sensing, modulation, and power transfer for electronic computation within living cells. They could also work in optically opaque environments and in vivo since they communicate using radio frequency waves. However, due to fundamental limitations in the miniaturization of conventional antennas developing an antenna which can fit inside a cell and can be possibly extended for use in vivo remains an unmet challenge. Here, we present the Cell Rover [1], a sub-mm magnetostrictive antenna which can operate wirelessly inside a living cell. Cell Rovers are acoustically actuated by an AC magnetic field and resonantly operated at low MHz frequencies, which is ideal for living systems. Cell Rovers are first characterized in air and water following which intracellular operation is demonstrated in fully opaque, Stage VI, Xenopus Laevis oocytes for which real time sensing with conventional technologies is difficult. Intracellular injection of Cell Rovers is achieved by applying a gradient magnetic field to ensure cell viability following which wireless detection is shown using a gradiometer coil assembly. We also demonstrate the possibility of using Cell Rovers for multiplexing applications to communicate with multiple antennas within the same cell or different cells.

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