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Comprehensive Reactive Receiver Modeling for Diffusive Molecular Communication Systems: Reversible Binding, Molecule Degradation, and Finite Number of Receptors

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This paper studies the problem of receiver modeling in molecular communication systems. We consider the diffusive molecular communication channel between a transmitter nano-machine and a receiver nano-machine in a fluid environment. The information molecules released by the transmitter nano-machine into the environment can degrade in the channel via a first-order degradation reaction and those that reach the receiver nano-machine can participate in a reversible bimolecular reaction with receiver receptor proteins. Thereby, we distinguish between two scenarios. In the first scenario, we assume that the entire surface of the receiver is covered by receptor molecules. We derive a closed-form analytical expression for the expected received signal at the receiver, i.e., the expected number of activated receptors on the surface of the receiver. Then, in the second scenario, we consider the case where the number of receptor molecules is finite and the uniformly distributed receptor molecules cover the receiver surface only partially. We show that the expected received signal for this scenario can be accurately approximated by the expected received signal for the first scenario after appropriately modifying the forward reaction rate constant. The accuracy of the derived analytical results is verified by Brownian motion particle-based simulations of the considered environment, where we also show the impact of the effect of receptor occupancy on the derived analytical results.

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