Intra-body microwave communication through adipose tissue

Noor Badariah Asan, Daniel Noreland, Emadeldeen Hassan, Syaiful Redzwan Mohd Shah, Anders Rydberg, Taco J. Blokhuis, Per-Ola Carlsson, Thiemo Voigt, Robin Augustine*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

21 Citations (Web of Science)


The human body can act as a medium for the transmission of electromagnetic waves in the wireless body sensor networks context. However, there are transmission losses in biological tissues due to the presence of water and salts. This Letter focuses on lateral intra-body microwave communication through different biological tissue layers and demonstrates the effect of the tissue thicknesses by comparing signal coupling in the channel. For this work, the authors utilise the R-band frequencies since it overlaps the industrial, scientific and medical radio (ISM) band. The channel model in human tissues is proposed based on electromagnetic simulations, validated using equivalent phantom and ex-vivo measurements. The phantom and ex-vivo measurements are compared with simulation modelling. The results show that electromagnetic communication is feasible in the adipose tissue layer with a low attenuation of approximate to 2 dB per 20 mm for phantom measurements and 4 dB per 20 mm for ex-vivo measurements at 2 GHz. Since the dielectric losses of human adipose tissues are almost half of ex-vivo tissue, an attenuation of around 3 dB per 20 mm is expected. The results show that human adipose tissue can be used as an intra-body communication channel.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-121
Number of pages7
JournalHealthcare technology letters
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017


  • electromagnetic wave transmission
  • body sensor networks
  • biological tissues
  • phantoms
  • dielectric losses
  • wireless body sensor networks
  • transmission losses
  • water
  • salts
  • lateral intrabody microwave communication
  • biological tissue layers
  • tissue thicknesses
  • signal coupling
  • R-band frequencies
  • industrial radio band
  • scientific radio band
  • medical radio band
  • electromagnetic simulations
  • equivalent phantom
  • ex-vivo measurements
  • adipose tissue layer
  • phantom measurements

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