Providing Connectivity to Implanted Electronics Devices

Radio and acoustic waves have been conventionally used for transmitting information through biological tissues. However, some radio-based communications often suffer from several drawbacks like security, safety, privacy, and interference. In this paper, we demonstrate that optical wireless communications can be practically used for communications through biological tissues, particularly to transmit information to and from implanted devices. In the experiment, ex vivo samples of pork meat were used as the optical channel. Initial results show that information can be optically transmitted through biological tissues to distances of several centimeters, a range of practical interest as many implants today are placed within this extent. Optical links are inherently secure, and interference to and from other equipment is not an issue. With numerous potential benefits, optical wireless communication can be considered as a complementary approach to the existing radio frequency (RF) communications. In this paper, a comparison between the measurement results of ultra-wideband (UWB) and optical communications through the biological tissues is presented. Both experiments have been taken place in a similar environment, with the same meat samples. We have also explored the effect of tissue temperature on successful communications through biological tissues. These initial results are very promising and indicate various potential benefits for in-body communication in the future.