In-body to on-body experimental uwb channel characterization for the human gastrointestinal area

  1. Pérez Simbor, Sofía
Supervised by:
  1. Concepción García Pardo Director
  2. Narciso Cardona Marcet Director

Defence university: Universitat Politècnica de València

Fecha de defensa: 28 November 2019

  1. José Ignacio Alonso Montes Chair
  2. Eva Antonino Daviu Secretary
  3. Roberto Verdone Committee member

Type: Thesis


The current global population in developed countries is becoming older and facing an increase in diseases mainly caused by age. New medical technologies can help to detect, diagnose and treat illness, saving money, time, and resources of physicians. Wireless in-body devices opened a new scenario for the next generation of medical devices. Frequencies like the Ultra Wide-band (UWB) frequency band (3.1 - 10.6 GHz) are being considered for the next generation of in-body wireless devices. The small size of the antennas, the low power transmission, and the higher data rate are desirable characteristics for in-body devices. However, the human body is frequency ependent, which means higher losses of the radio frequency (RF) signal from in- to out-side the body as the frequency increases. To overcome this, the propagation channel has to be understood and known as much possible to process the signal accordingly. This dissertation aims to characterize the (RF) channel for the future of in-body medical devices. Three different methodologies have been used to characterize the channel: numerical simulations, phantom measurements, and living animals experiments. The phantom measurements were performed in a novel testbed designed for the purpose of in-body measurements at the UWB frequency band. Moreover, multi-layer high accurate phantoms mimicking the gastrointesintal (GI) area were employed. The animal experiments were conducted in living pigs, replicating in the fairest way as possible the phantom measurement campaigns. Lastly, the software simulations were designed to replicate the experimental measurements. An in-depth and detail analysis of the channel was performed in both, frequency and time domain. Concretely, the performance of the receiving and transmitting antennas, the effect of the fat, the shape of the phantom container, and the multipath components were evaluated. Finally, a novel path loss model was obtained for the low UWB frequency band (3.1 - 5.1 GHz) at GI scenarios. The model was validated using the three methodologies and compared with previous models in literature. Finally, from a practical case point of view, the channel was also evaluated for UWB signals at lower frequencies (60 MHz) for the GI area. In addition, for the next generation of leadless pacemakers the security link between the heart and an external device was also evaluated. The results obtained in this dissertation reaffirm the benefits of using the UWB frequency band for the next generation of wireless in-body medical devices.