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IEEE transactions on mobile computing v.16 no.2, 2017년, pp.367 - 380   SCI SCIE
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Experimental Evaluation of Impulsive Ultrasonic Intra-Body Communications for Implantable Biomedical Devices

Santagati, G. Enrico Melodia, Tommaso
  • 초록  

    Biomedical systems of miniaturized implantable sensors and actuators interconnected in an intra-body area network could enable revolutionary clinical applications. Given the well-understood limitations of radio frequency (RF) propagation in the human body, in our previous work we investigated the use of ultrasonic waves as an alternative physical carrier of information, and proposed Ultrasonic WideBand (UsWB), an ultrasonic multipath-resilient integrated physical and medium access control (MAC) layer protocol. In this paper, we discuss the design and implementation of a software-defined testbed architecture for ultrasonic intra-body area networks, and propose the first experimental demonstration of the feasibility of ultrasonic communications in tissue mimicking materials. We first discuss in detail our FPGA-based prototype implementation of UsWB. We then demonstrate how the prototype can flexibly trade performance off for power consumption, and achieve, for bit error rates (BER) no higher than $10^{-6}$ , either (i) high-data rate transmissions up to $700\mathrm{kbit/s}$ at a transmit power of $-14\mathrm{dBm}$ ( $\approx 40\mathrm{\mu W}$ ), or (ii) low-data rate and lower-power transmissions down to $-21\mathrm{dBm}$ ( $\approx 8\mathrm{\mu W}$ ) at $70\mathrm{kbit/s}$ . We demonstrate that the UsWB MAC protocol allows multiple transmitter-receiver pairs to coexist and dynamically adapt the transmission rate according to channel and interference conditions to maximize throughput while satisfying predefined reliability constraints. We also show how UsWB can be used to enable a video monitoring medical application for implantable devices. Finally, we propose (and validate through experiments) a statistical model of small-scale fading for the ultrasonic intra-body channel.


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