Work Packages

The project consists of seven work packages [WP]. WP1- WP5 deal with the issues related to proposed methodology for designing and evaluating implantable and ingestible medical devices (IIMD). WP6 shall verify the proposed methodology within the framework of a prototype wireless system for monitoring the intra-cranial pressure or another physiological parameter. Finally, WP7 includes the activities for the dissemination of the research results.

[WP1] Hardware related subjects for IIMD: Data and power-supply circuits
Fundamental bio-sensor design issues will be studied and a database of commercially available bio-sensors will be constructed. This WP aims to record existing transceivers for bio-medical applications and compare them via computer simulations and possible improvements will be investigated.

[WP2] Prototype antennas for IIMD
2.1 Simulations The challenges for designing antennas for IIMD will be investigated in terms of the radiation performance. Moreover, extensive computer simulation will be carried out towards evaluating the antenna design parameters, the human phantoms, the body position, the location of the implants and the IIMD with respect to the resonance and radiation performance. Finally, novel antenna design techniques will be proposed, based on optimization algorithms with emphasis on the design speed.
2.2 Measurements on phantoms A database of both existing and new recipes for human tissue simulating liquids will be constructed, in order to evaluate the ingredients and their effect on the electric properties of the mixture. A novel measurement protocol will be developed and the proposed antennas (see section 2.1) will be implemented and measured. The suitability of the phantoms will be evaluated via the comparison with measurements on anatomical phantoms. Finally, the divergence between experimental and numerical results will be examined, towards evaluating the suitability of different numerical methods for the design of the IIMD antennas, identifying those parameters that need to be taken into account in the simulations and determining the importance of various experimental uncertainties.
2.3 Measurements on animals Protocols for measurements on animals will be developed in order to conduct measurements and investigate the divergence between experimental and numerical results. The goal is to study the reaction of the tissues and the operation of the antenna under a realistic scenario, the evaluation of the numerical methods for the IIMD antenna design, the identification of those realistic parameters that need to be taken into account in the simulations and determining the importance of the experiments on animals.

[WP3] Telemetry and communication link for IIMD
3.1 Simulationsς Initially, the link-quality requirements will be investigated, as well as wireless propagation scenarios in indoor environments. Moreover, the in-body to on-body wireless channel will be studied and modeled. Various types of antennas and propagation scenarios will be considered and the effect of the phantoms, body positions and implant placement will be investigated. Finally, the tolerance of the communication system to interference will be examined.
3.2 Measurements on phantoms The wireless propagation channel will be examined. The effect of the polarization on the performance of the antenna and the wireless link will be quantified. The body position, the body mass coefficient and other physiological parameters of the human body will be studied. Different propagation scenarios will be examined, with respect to the operational frequency and the wireless environment.

[WP4] Security issues for IIMD
4.1 Simulations The Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) of the proposed antennas (see section 2.2) will be calculated and the compliance with the guidelines of ICNIRO and IEEE will be inspected. Moreover, the temperature increment of the tissues will be evaluated via the Pennes bioheat equation, while new numerical techniques will be proposed, which will take into account the heat of the circuitry itself. Finally, parameterized studies will be conducted for evaluating the effect of the utilized frequency bands, the biological tissue model and the implantation's position on the system performance. The studies will be repeated in scenarios where exposure from multiple radiation sources will take place.
4.2 Measurements on phantoms A protocol for SAR measurements will be developed. The antennas proposed in section 2.2 will be sunk in a phantom and the SAR will be experimentally measured through a radiation dosimetry sensor. The phantoms developed in section 2.2 will be applied for the measurements.

[WP5] Telemetry-Telemedicine Communication link for IIMD
The first part of WP5 will deal with telemedicine issues by assessing and adapting existing technologies to the IIMD telemetry requirements. Several challenges will be investigated, such as the interoperability and interference mitigation. The second part of this WP studies the provisioning of new technologies in remote-monitoring and telemedicine, taking into account telemetry, bio-sensor and local area networks aspects. Finally, the integration of these systems with the existing wideband wireless networks and telemedicine systems will be examined.

[WP6] Verification of the proposed methodology
6.1 Simulations The existing wired and wireless technologies for the intra-cranial monitoring or other physiological parameter will be reviewed and the requirements/limitations will be defined. Furthermore, the proposed methodology will be applied particularly for the application under consideration. The implantable monitoring device will be integrated with an implantable antenna in order to implement the end-to-end communication link. Extensive simulations will be performed for the evaluation and optimization of the system performance.
6.2 Measurements on phantoms The monitoring device will be integrated with the proposed implantable antenna and measurements on phantoms will be conducted.

[WP7] Dissemination and publication of research findings
Activities for the dissemination and publication of the research findings.