Remote Powering and Communication of Implantable Biosensors Through Inductive Link

Nowadays there is an increasing interest in the field of implantable biosensors. The possibility of real-time monitoring of the human body from inside paves the way to a large number of applications and offers wide opportunities for the future. Within this scenario, the i-IronIC project aims to develop an implantable, low cost, health-care device for real-time monitoring of human metabolites. The contribution of this research work to the i-IronIC project consists of the design and realization of a complete platform to provide power, data communication and remote control to the implantable biosensor. High wearability of the transmitting unit, low invasivity of the implanted electronics, integration of the power management module within the sensor, and a reliable communication protocol with portable devices are the key points of this platform. The power is transmitted to the implanted sensor by exploiting an inductive link. Simulations have been performed to check the effects of several variables on the link performance. These simulations have finally confirmed the possibility to operate in the low megahertz range, where tissue absorption is minimum, even if a miniaturized receiving inductor is used. A wearable patch has been designed to transmit power through the body tissues by driving an external inductor. The same inductive link is used to achieve bidirectional data communication with the implanted device. The patch, named IronIC, is powered by lithium-ion polymer batteries and can be remotely controlled by means of a dedicated Android application running on smartphones and tablets. Long-range communication between the patch and portable devices is performed by means of Bluetooth protocol. Different typologies of receiving inductors have been designed to minimize the size of the implantable device and reduce the discomfort of the patience. Multi-layer, printed spiral inductors and microfabricated spiral inductors have been designed, fabricated and tested. Both the approaches involve a sensibly smaller size, as compared to classic “pancake” inductors used for remote powering. Furthermore, the second solution enables the realization of the receiving inductor directly on the silicon substrate hosting the sensor, thus involving a further miniaturization of the implanted device. An integrated power module has been designed and fabricated in 0.18 μm CMOS technology to perform power management and data communication with the external patch. The circuit, to be merged with the sensor readout circuit, consists of an half-wave voltage rectifier, a low-dropout regulator, an amplitude demodulator and a load modulator. The module receives the power from the implanted inductor and provides a stable voltage to the sensor readout circuit. Finally, the amplitude demodulator and the load modulator enable short-range communication with the patch.


Advisor(s):
De Micheli, Giovanni
Carrara, Sandro
Year:
2013
Publisher:
Lausanne, EPFL
Keywords:
Other identifiers:
urn: urn:nbn:ch:bel-epfl-thesis5936-3
Laboratories:


Note: The status of this file is: Anyone


 Record created 2013-11-11, last modified 2020-04-20

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