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ECE PhD Proposal Review: Stella Banou

February 15, 2022 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

PhD Proposal Review: Coupling Methods for Wireless Intra-body Communication and Sensing

Stella Banou

Location: 432 ISEC

Abstract: Advances in miniaturized bio-compatible Internet of Things (IoT) device design and wireless connectivity have resulted in rapid strides towards realizing the vision of connected health and ubiquitous monitoring of physiological conditions. Core enablers of this capability are wearable and implanted IoT devices, albeit with limitations arising from their low energy storage and computational power. This thesis goes beyond the RF-only communication standards by exploring alternate communication modalities that are more amenable for inter- and intra-body communication. In summary, this thesis explores the conductive and radiating nature of the human body as a channel for three non-RF coupling communication methods – Galvanic, Magnetic and Capacitive coupling.
In part I, an implementation of Galvanic Coupling-based beamforming is presented for implant to wearable communication. The key idea here is to exploit the conductivity of human tissue and transmit weak electrical signals by coupling them via electrodes to muscle tissue in a way that concentrates energy at the receiver location. In part II, we focus on realizing a relay network of IoT devices for both implant-implant and implant to on-skin sensor communication using Magnetic Resonance Coupling. The advantage of this method over Galvanic Coupling is that the former reduces attenuation when signals pass through human tissue. In part III, we enhance the scope of the connected health paradigm to now include sensing for proximity and for automated encouraging of healthy habits that mitigate the spread of communicable diseases using Capacitive Coupling.
As part of proposed work, we will design a novel human antenna field to sense and communicate with other IoT devices in the near field – within 2.5 meters, also using Capacitive Coupling. This will complete the full cycle of data flow, from implanted to wearable devices and finally connect the body network to the computational cloud for the next generation of IoT-enabled healthcare.


February 15, 2022
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm


Electrical and Computer Engineering
MS/PhD Thesis Defense


432 ISEC
360 Huntington Ave
Boston, MA 02115 United States
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