University of Oulu

M. Särestöniemi, C. Pomalaza-Ráez, C. Kissi and J. Iinatti, "Simulation and Measurement Data-Based Study on Fat as Propagation Medium in WBAN Abdominal Implant Communication Systems," in IEEE Access, vol. 9, pp. 46240-46259, 2021, doi: 10.1109/ACCESS.2021.3068116

Simulation and measurement data-based study on fat as propagation medium in WBAN abdominal implant communication systems

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Author: Särestöniemi, Mariella1; Pomalaza-Raez, Carlos2; Kissi, Chaïmaâ3;
Organizations: 1Centre for Wireless Communications, Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, University of Oulu, 90014 Oulu, Finland
2Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Purdue University, Fort Wayne, IN 46805-1499, USA
3Electronics and Telecommunication System Research Group, National School of Applied Sciences (ENSA), Ibn Tofail University, Kenitra 14000, Morocco
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2.8 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-04-07


This paper presents comprehensive study on fat as propagation medium in abdominal implant communication system at low ultrawideband (UWB) frequency range 3.75—4.25 GHz. The main aim is to investigate how signal propagates through visceral and subcutaneous fat layers and how that information can be exploited in implant communication systems. The study is conducted using different methods: electromagnetic simulations, power flow analysis, propagation path calculations and radio channel measurements with animal meat pieces. Simulations are conducted using layer models and anatomical voxel models having different sizes. Results of channel simulations are verified with propagation path calculations. Power flow analysis on cross-cuts of the voxel models is conducted to investigate how the signal propagates inside the tissues. Furthermore, measurements using different animal meat pieces are performed to evaluate the impact of fat constitution on channel characteristics. It is found that similar tendency on fat propagation is seen in the evaluations with different methods. It is also observed that channel attenuation depends not only on the types and thicknesses of the tissues between transmitter and receiver antennas, but also how the tissues, especially fat, is located between the antennas. Channel attenuation difference between different voxels is maximum 14 dB in the studied antenna locations. Furthermore, propagation channel is evaluated with measurements using pork meat having different fat and muscle constitutions. It is found that antenna location respect to fat layers has clear impact on the channel strength although the fat tissue is not directly above the in-body antenna. The difference is noted to be 3–15 dB especially on the side peaks of channel impulse response. The knowledge on fat as a propagation medium is crucial when designing medical monitoring or implant communication systems. Location of antennas/sensor nodes for the monitoring devices can be established so that propagation through fat layer can be exploited.

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Series: IEEE access
ISSN: 2169-3536
ISSN-E: 2169-3536
ISSN-L: 2169-3536
Volume: 9
Pages: 46240 - 46259
DOI: 10.1109/ACCESS.2021.3068116
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 213 Electronic, automation and communications engineering, electronics
Funding: This work was supported in part by the projects WBAN Communications in the Congested Environments (MeCCE), in part by the Academy of Finland 6Genesis Flagship under Grant 318927, and in part by the European Union's Horizon 2020 programme through the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Grant under Agreement 872752.
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 318927
Detailed Information: 318927 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © The Authors 2021. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License. For more information, see