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International Journal of Antennas and Propagation
Volume 2013, Article ID 328375, 9 pages
Research Article

Improved Reception of In-Body Signals by Means of a Wearable Multi-Antenna System

1Department of Information Technology, INTEC-IMEC, Ghent University, Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat 41, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
2Department IT&C, GEN Group, Ghent University, Valentin Vaerwyckweg 1, 9000 Ghent, Belgium

Received 5 April 2013; Revised 16 July 2013; Accepted 17 July 2013

Academic Editor: Lorenzo Luini

Copyright © 2013 Thijs Castel et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


High data-rate wireless communication for in-body human implants is mainly performed in the 402–405 MHz Medical Implant Communication System band and the 2.45 GHz Industrial, Scientific and Medical band. The latter band offers larger bandwidth, enabling high-resolution live video transmission. Although in-body signal attenuation is larger, at least 29 dB more power may be transmitted in this band and the antenna efficiency for compact antennas at 2.45 GHz is also up to 10 times higher. Moreover, at the receive side, one can exploit the large surface provided by a garment by deploying multiple compact highly efficient wearable antennas, capturing the signals transmitted by the implant directly at the body surface, yielding stronger signals and reducing interference. In this paper, we implement a reliable 3.5 Mbps wearable textile multi-antenna system suitable for integration into a jacket worn by a patient, and evaluate its potential to improve the In-to-Out Body wireless link reliability by means of spatial receive diversity in a standardized measurement setup. We derive the optimal distribution and the minimum number of on-body antennas required to ensure signal levels that are large enough for real-time wireless endoscopy-capsule applications, at varying positions and orientations of the implant in the human body.