NEMO: A Layer-Oriented Language for Descriptions of Ion Channel Models

NEMO is an implementation of a layer oriented language for describing computational models of ion channels.

It is capable of generating code for GNU Octave, Matlab and NEURON. It is implemented using the Chicken Scheme compiler, and is distributed via the Chicken package distribution system.

Documentation on using the NEMO tool is available on the Chicken website.


In order to install NEMO, you must first install Chicken Scheme and then use the chicken-install program to download and compile NEMO.

  1. Prerequisites:

    You will need to obtain and install the Chicken Scheme compiler and programming environment. The latest official release is available from the following URL:

    On Unix and Mac OS X there are no additional prerequisites, but on Windows, you will need to first install either one of the MinGW or Cygwin packages, because Chicken must be compiled with the gcc compiler.

  2. Installation of Chicken Scheme:

    First, you will need to download the Chicken source archive from the above location, then unpack it and change to the directory extracted from the archive:

       tar zxf chicken-4.6.0.tar.gz
       cd chicken-4.6.0

    Then, you need to compile and install:

    • On Linux:
      make PLATFORM=linux PREFIX=$HOME/chicken install
    • On Mac OS X (64-bit):
      make PLATFORM=macosx ARCH=x86-64 PREFIX=$HOME/chicken install
    • On Mac OS X (32-bit):
      make PLATFORM=macosx PREFIX=$HOME/chicken install
    • On MinGW or Cygwin:
      make PLATFORM=mingw PREFIX=C:\chicken install
      premake PLATFORM=cygwin PREFIX=C:\chicken install


  3. Installation of NEMO:

    After Chicken Scheme has been successfully installed, NEMO can be installed using the chicken-install program:

      ~/chicken/bin/chicken-install nemo

    (On Windows, the tilde must be replaced with C:\ or whichever drive you have installed Chicken on).

  4. Verifying correct operation:

    Assuming that the previous step resulted in successful installation of NEMO, run the following command to ensure that everything is properly installed:

      ~/chicken/bin/nemo --nmodl ~/chicken/share/chicken/nemo/examples/Khaliq03/Khaliq03.nemo

    This should generate file Khaliq03.mod if successful.


In case of installation difficulties, or for any other questions regarding NEMO, please email Ivan Raikov at raikov (at) oist (dot) jp.