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Multi-Path Model and Sensitivity Analysis for Galvanic Coupled Intra-Body Communication Through Layered Tissue
IEEE Transactions on Biological Circuits and Systems (2016)
  • Meenupriya Swaminathan, Northeastern University
New medical procedures promise continuous patient monitoring and drug delivery through implanted sensors and actu- ators. When over the air wireless radio frequency (OTA-RF) links are used for intra-body implant communication, the network in- curs heavy energy costs owing to absorption within the human tissue. With this motivation, we explore an alternate form of intra- body communication that relies on weak electrical signals, instead of OTA-RF. To demonstrate the feasibility of this new paradigm for enabling communication between sensors and actuators em- bedded within the tissue, or placed on the surface of the skin, we develop a rigorous analytical model based on galvanic coupling of low energy signals. The main contributions in this paper are: (i) developing a suite of analytical expressions for modeling the resulting communication channel for weak electrical signals in a three dimensional multi-layered tissue structure, (ii) validating and verifying the model through extensive finite element simulations, published measurements in existing literature, and experiments conducted with porcine tissue, (iii) designing the communication framework with safety considerations, and analyzing the influence of different network and hardware parameters such as transmis- sion frequency and electrode placements. Our results reveal a close agreement between theory, simulation, literature and experimental findings, pointing to the suitability of the model for quick and ac- curate channel characterization and parameter estimation for net- worked and implanted sensors. 
  • Intra-body networks,
  • body sensor networks,
  • implants communication,
  • wireless body networks,
  • model optimization,
  • channel characterization,
  • tissue channel model,
  • tissue electrical behavior,
  • tissue model,
  • finite element analysis porcine experiment
Publication Date
Spring April 1, 2016
Citation Information
M. Swaminathan, F. S. Cabrera, J. S. Pujol, U. Muncuk, G. Schirner, and K. R. Chowdhury, “Multi-path Model and Sensitivity Analysis for Galvanic Coupled Intra-body Communication through Layered Tissue,” IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Circuits and Systems, vol. 10, no. 2, Apr. 2016.