Basic study of a transcutaneous information transmission system using intra-body communication
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The transcutaneous communication system (TCS) is one of the key technologies for monitoring and controling artificial hearts and other artificial organs in the body. In this study, we have developed a new TCS that uses the human body as a conductive medium. Having no energy conversion from electric currents into electromagnetic waves and light provides energy-saving data transmission with a simple electrical circuit. Each unit of the TCS mainly consists of two electrodes, an amplitude shift keying (ASK) modulator and an ASK demodulator (carrier frequency: 4 and 10 MHz). A resonant frequency of an L-C tank circuit including the capacitance component of the body is tuned into each carrier frequency in order to apply the data current effectively into the body. Performance of the TCS was evaluated by a communication test on the surface of a human body. The TCS was able to transmit 3,315 bytes of data bi-directionally at a transmission rate of 115 kbps from a left wrist to a right forearm, to an abdomen and to a left calf without communication error. The power consumption of each TCS unit was 125 mW with an ASK modulated current of 7 mA (RMS). While further study is required to secure its safety, the TCS promises to be a next-generation transcutaneous communication device.
KeywordsArtificial heart Transcutaneous communication Intra-body communication
This study was supported by the program for Promotion of Fundamental Studies in Tateishi Science and Technology Foundation, 1091004, 2009.
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