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25070 Characterization of Communication Mechanisms for Implantable Body Sensor Networks
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Karuppiah Ramachandran, V.R (2014) Characterization of Communication Mechanisms for Implantable Body Sensor Networks. Master's thesis, University of Twente.

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The use of wireless sensor networks (WSN) in health-care has been rapidly increased in the
last few years. Miniaturization of sensor nodes, in-body data communication, bio-compatibility
are the main outcomes of the on-going extensive research on nano-technology, wireless communication
and bio-medical engineering, respectively. Sensing of various life-critical physiological
signals such as heart-rate, blood-pressure, blood-glucose level, is made possible with miniaturized
implantable wireless bio-sensors. Challenging requirements of WSN in health-care applications
have resulted in the advent of a specific type of WSN called Implantable body sensor network
(IBSN), in which the sensor nodes are implanted either subcutaneously or by an invasive surgery
into the patient's body. These sensor nodes continuously monitor the physiological signals which
is necessary for the patients with life-threatening diseases such as epilepsy. Life-critical implantable
medical devices (IMD) such as pace-makers and neural stimulators, are also connected to the
IBSN. A closed control loop of medical devices is envisioned through a network of IMD and biosensors
using IBSN, in which the IMDs are programmed for different types of therapies through
wireless channel, based on the real-time response of the patient by continuously monitoring the
medical symptoms with the implantable bio-sensors.
IBSN is less researched compared to the body sensor network (BSN) where the wireless communication
between sensor nodes takes place on the surface of the body. Extensive research on
characterizing the communication mechanisms for IBSN is needed to standardize a reliable RF
communication within the human body. In order to create a reliable and energy-efficient sensor
network, two main layers of the Open System Interconnection (OSI) network model is required.
The physical layer which is aimed at unification of the hardware requirements in a network to
enable the successful transmission of data. The medium access control (MAC) sub-layer that
is aimed at controlling the access to the wireless channel, which directly affects the network
performance and energy efficiency of the nodes. This master thesis focuses on characterizing the
physical layer and MAC sub-layer with different configurations of IBSN by means of software
simulation and hardware experimentation. Two main state-of-the-art mechanisms are focused
namely Medical Implant Communication Service (MICS) band specifications in the physical
layer and wake-up radio integration in the MAC sub-layer which enables globally standardized
communication strategies for IBSN and ultra-low power communication with reliable network
performance respectively. These mechanisms are studied and characterized for different IBSN
scenarios with a bio-medical implant in this thesis work. .
As a result, an optimum configuration of the physical layer and MAC sub-layer for the IBSN
is found. The added-value of wake-up radio in MAC layer and the effect of MICS band configurations
in physical layer and MAC layer are identified. The evaluation results will also indicate
the potential drawbacks in the existing configurations at physical and MAC layers of BSN, and
identify why the existing BSN mechanisms cannot be used for IBSN scenarios. Possible solutions
to overcome these drawbacks are suggested for the future research work.

Item Type:Master's Thesis
Research Group:EWI-PS: Pervasive Systems
Research Program:CTIT-WiSe: Wireless and Sensor Systems
Research Project:CPS: Energy-efficient Computer-brain Interaction
Uncontrolled Keywords:Implantable body sensor network, Wake-up radio, Medium access control
ID Code:25070
Deposited On:08 December 2014
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