Powering Implants by Galvanic Coupling: A Validated Analytical Model Predicts Powers Above 1 mW in Injectable Implants

  • Marc Tudela-Pi
  • Laura Becerra-Fajardo
  • Antoni Ivorra
Conference paper
Part of the IFMBE Proceedings book series (IFMBE, volume 68/3)


While galvanic coupling for intrabody communications has been proposed lately by different research groups, its use for powering active implantable medical devices remains almost non-existent. Here it is presented a simple analytical model able to estimate the attainable power by galvanic coupling based on the delivery of high frequency (>1 MHz) electric fields applied as short bursts. The results obtained with the analytical model, which is in vitro validated in the present study, indicate that time-averaged powers above 1 mW can be readily obtained in very thin (diameter < 1 mm) and short (length < 20 mm) elongated implants when fields which comply with safety standards (SAR < 10 W/kg) are present in the tissues where the implants are located. Remarkably, the model indicates that, for a given SAR, the attainable power is independent of the tissue conductivity and of the duration and repetition frequency of the bursts. This study reveals that galvanic coupling is a safe option to power very thin active implants, avoiding bulky components such as coils and batteries.


Galvanic coupling Active implant Wireless power transfer 



This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No 724244).

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Information and Communication TechnologiesUniversitat Pompeu FabraBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Serra Húnter Fellow, Universitat Pompeu FabraBarcelonaSpain

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