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Wireless Communications and Mobile Computing
Volume 2018, Article ID 9026847, 39 pages
Review Article

Past Results, Present Trends, and Future Challenges in Intrabody Communication

1Biomedical Research Networking Centre in Bioengineering, Biomaterials and Nanomedicine (CIBER-BBN), Seville, Spain
2Biomedical Engineering Group, University of Seville, Seville, Spain
3Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia
4Department of Electrical Engineering, Islamic Azad University, Urmia Branch, Urmia, Iran
5Fuzhou University, Fuzhou, China

Correspondence should be addressed to David Naranjo-Hern√°ndez;

Received 18 August 2017; Accepted 25 December 2017; Published 11 March 2018

Academic Editor: Pierre-Martin Tardif

Copyright © 2018 David Naranjo-Hernández 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.


Intrabody communication (IBC) is a wireless communication technology using the human body to develop body area networks (BANs) for remote and ubiquitous monitoring. IBC uses living tissues as a transmission medium, achieving power-saving and miniaturized transceivers, making communications more robust against external interference and attacks on the privacy of transmitted data. Due to these advantages, IBC has been included as a third physical layer in the IEEE 802.15.6 standard for wireless body area networks (WBANs) designated as Human Body Communication (HBC). Further research is needed to compare both methods depending on the characteristics of IBC application. Challenges remain for an optimal deployment of IBC technology, such as the effect of long-term use in the human body, communication optimization through more realistic models, the influence of both anthropometric characteristics and the subject’s movement on the transmission performance, standardization of communications, and development of small-size and energy-efficient prototypes with increased data rate. The purpose of this work is to provide an in-depth overview of recent advances and future challenges in human body/intrabody communication for wireless communications and mobile computing.