The effect of tissues in galvanic coupling intrabody communication

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

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

8 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 contributions of tissues for signal transmission in IBC, which requires a good understanding of dielectric properties of biological tissues, paves a way for practical implementation of IBC in Body Sensor Networks. Presently, there is a lack of accurate and clear analysis on how the different tissues affect signal propagation through human body. In this work, we introduce a simple and efficient approach to understand the influence of different tissues on signal propagation through human body. In this approach, we propose a single Cole-Cole dispersion for the dielectric spectrum of four tissues (skin, fat, muscle, and cortical bone) for the frequency range of 100 KHz to 10 MHz. We measured gain and phase shift of galvanic coupling type IBC on the upper arm of three subjects. It was found that for the given frequency range, the impedance magnitude of skin decreases quickly whereas impedances of the other tissues were less affected. In a similar manner, the impedance phase angle of skin is up to 60 degrees larger than that of the other tissues. From the measurement, we observed that these characteristics of skin highly affect the measured gain and phase shift. As a result, we infer skin mainly affects signal propagation through the human body in galvanic coupling.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2013 IEEE 8th International Conference on Intelligent Sensors, Sensor Networks and Information Processing
Subtitle of host publicationSensing the Future, ISSNIP 2013
EditorsMarimuthu Palaniswami, Christopher Leckie, Salil Kanhere, Jayavardhana Gubbi
Place of PublicationPiscataway NJ USA
PublisherIEEE, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781467355001
ISBN (Print)9781467355018
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational Conference on Intelligent Sensors, Sensor Networks and Information Processing 2013 - University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 2 Apr 20135 Apr 2013
Conference number: 8th (IEEE Conference Proceedings)


ConferenceInternational Conference on Intelligent Sensors, Sensor Networks and Information Processing 2013
Abbreviated titleISSNIP 2013
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