The use of intra/inter-cellular calcium ion (Ca2+) signaling for molecular communication (MC) is investigated in this paper. In particular, the elevation of the intracellular Ca2+ concentration upon the external excitation, i.e., Ca2+ wave generation, and the intercellular propagation of Ca2+ wave over consecutive cells are studied for information transmission. The main objective of this paper is to develop a linear channel model for intra/inter-cellular Ca2+ MC. In this context, the end-to-end Ca2+ MC system is studied under three blocks: the wave generation, the gap junctional (intercellular) propagation, and the intracellular propagation. The wave generation block captures the intracellular Ca2+ signaling pathway including the release of Ca2+ from the organelles and the buffers inside a cell, and the intake from the extracellular space. The gap junctional (intercellular) propagation block captures the Ca2+ transition through the gap junctions between the touching cells. The intracellular propagation block defines the effect of the cytoplasmic diffusion. Using the developed blocks for the different biophysical phenomena, the end-to-end channel gain and delay formulas are derived. Furthermore, the bit error probability is studied to reveal the impact of the detection threshold. This work provides the basis for the modeling, analysis and the design of Ca2+ MC systems.
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