Investigation of galvanic-coupled intrabody communication using the human body circuit model

Behailu Kibret, MirHojjat Seyedi, Daniel T. H. Lai, Micheal Faulkner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

75 Citations (Scopus)


Intrabody Communication (IBC) is a technique that uses the human body as a transmission medium for electrical signals to connect wearable electronic sensors and devices. Understanding the human body as the transmission medium in IBC paves way for practical implementation of IBC in body sensor networks. In this study, we propose a model for galvanic coupling-type IBC based on a simplified equivalent circuit representation of the human upper arm. We propose a new way to calculate the electrode-skin contact impedance. Based on the model and human experimental results, we discuss important characteristics of galvanic coupling-type IBC, namely, the effect of tissues, anthropometry of subjects, and electrode configuration on signal propagation. We found that the dielectric properties of the muscle primarily characterize the received signal when receiver electrodes are located close to transmitter electrodes. When receiver and transmitter electrodes are far apart, the skin dielectric property affects the received signal.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1196-1206
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Body sensor networks
  • capacitive coupling
  • electrode
  • galvanic coupling
  • intrabody communication (IBC)
  • measurement setup
  • modeling
  • simplified equivalent circuit

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