Antennas for Implantable Wireless Sensor Nodes

Background

At the Holst Centre on the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven research is carried out in the fields of Wireless Autonomous Transducer Solutions (WATS) and Systems In FOILS (SIF). Within the WATS program, one of the research topics is wireless, RF energy transfer. Through the reception of ambient RF energy (GSM, DTV, WLAN, etc.) or the reception of dedicatedly transmitted RF signals, low-power sensors are directly powered or batteries are charged over distances ranging from a few decimetres to many meters. The focus in this research is on DC voltage maximization over large distances and on DC power maximization on intermediate (1-3) distances.

Project description

For future health applications, a wireless connection between in-body sensors and out of body base stations is foreseen. By making the implanted radio as efficient as possible, the battery lifetime will be extended and it may even be possible to power the radio from waves emitted by the base station. To reach this goal, amongst others, antennas optimized for the special environment are needed. The optimization consists of adapting the antennas to be operating in a conductive fluid and being miniaturized so that they can be placed on or in an implantable wireless sensor node. The antenna characteristics (radiation efficiency and input impedance) may not deteriorate too much. Within this project, we start from some earlier developed minitiature antennas and relate size, form and materials to the desired characteristics. From there we will develop antenna design strategies (e.g. applying chokes, multiple conductors, folding techniques) and test these strategies by developing a number of miniature and in-fluid antennas. These antennas will be prototyped and measured.

Project organization

The work in this project will be conducted at the Holst Centre premises and will be supervised by Huib Visser. A second supervisor will be appointed from the EM group and will provide for a regular consultancy and will guard the project progress.

Contact

Dr.ir. Huib Visser, h.j.visser@tue.nl / huib.visser@imec-nl.nl