Vol. 148

Latest Volume
All Volumes
All Issues

Energy Transfer for Implantable Electronics in the Electromagnetic Midfield (Invited Paper)

By John S. Ho and Ada S. Y. Poon
Progress In Electromagnetics Research, Vol. 148, 151-158, 2014


The wireless transfer of electromagnetic energy into the human body could power medical devices and enable new ways to treat various disorders. To control energy transfer, metal structures are used to generate and manipulate radio-frequency electromagnetic fields. Most systems for transfer across the biological tissue operate in the quasi-static limit, but operation beyond this regime could afford new powering capabilities. This review discusses some recent developments in the design and implementation of systems operating in the electromagnetic midfield, where transfer exploits wave-like fields in the body.


John S. Ho and Ada S. Y. Poon, "Energy Transfer for Implantable Electronics in the Electromagnetic Midfield (Invited Paper)," Progress In Electromagnetics Research, Vol. 148, 151-158, 2014.


    1. Chandrakasan, A. P., N. Verma, and D. C. Daly, "Ultralow-power electronics for biomedical applications," Annu. Rev. of Biomed. Eng., Vol. 10, No. 1, 247-274, August 2008.

    2. Hochbaum, A. I., R. Chen, R. D. Delgado, W. Liang, E. C. Garnett, M. Najarian, A. Majumdar, and P. Yang, "Enhanced thermoelectric performance of rough silicon nanowires," Nature, Vol. 451, No. 7175, 163-167, January 2008.

    3. Dagdeviren, C., B. D. Yang, Y. Su, P. L. Tran, P. Joe, E. Anderson, J. Xia, V. Doraiswamy, B. Dehdashti, X. Feng, B. Lu, R. Poston, Z. Khalpey, R. Ghaffari, Y. Huang, M. J. Slepian, and J. A. Rogers, "Conformal piezoelectric energy harvesting and storage from motions of the heart, lung, and diaphragm," Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A., Vol. 111, No. 5, 1927-1932, 2014.

    4. Rapoport, B. I., J. T. Kedzierski, and R. Sarpeshkar, "A glucose fuel cell for implantable brain-machine interfaces," PloS One, Vol. 7, No. 6, e38436, 2012.

    5. Mercier, P. P., A. C. Lysaght, S. Bandyopadhyay, A. P. Chandrakasan, and K. M. Stankovic, "Energy extraction from the biologic battery in the inner ear," Nat. Biotechnol., Vol. 30, No. 12, 1240-1243, 2012.

    6. Bashirullah, R., "Wireless implants," IEEE Microw. Mag., Vol. 11, No. 7, 2010.

    7. Chow, E. Y., M. M. Morris, and P. P. Irazoqui, "Implantable RF medical devices: The benefits of high-speed communication and much greater communication distances in biomedical applications," IEEE Microw. Mag., Vol. 14, No. 4, 64-73, 2013.

    8. Ho, J. S., S. Kim, and A. S. Y. Poon, "Midfield wireless powering for implantable systems," Proc. IEEE, 1369-1378, 2013.

    9. Schuder, J. C., H. E. Stephenson, Jr., and J. F. Townsend, "High-level electromagnetic energy transfer through a closed chest wall," IRE Intl. Conv. Rec., Vol. 9, 119-126, 1961.

    10. Schuder, J. C., H. E. Stephenson, and J. F. Townsend, "Energy transfer into a closed chest by means of stationary coupling coils and a portable high-power oscillator," ASAIO Trans., Vol. 7, 327-331, 1961.

    11. Schuder, J. C., "Powering an artificial heart: Birth of the inductively coupled-radio frequency system in 1960," Artif. Organs, Vol. 26, No. 11, 909-915, 2002.

    12. Flack, F. C., E. D. James, and D. M. Schlapp, "Mutual inductance of air-cored coils: Effect on design of radio-frequency coupled implants," Med. Biol. Eng., Vol. 9, 79-85, 1971.

    13. Ko, W. H., S. P. Liang, and C. D. F. Fung, "Design of radio-frequency powered coils for implant instruments," Med. Biol. Eng. Comput., Vol. 15, 634-640, November 1977.

    14. Heetderks, W. J., "RF powering of millimeter- and submillimeter-sized neural prosthetic implants," IEEE Trans. Biomed. Eng., Vol. 35, No. 5, 323-327, 1988.

    15. Jow, U.-M. and M. Ghovanloo, "Design and optimization of printed spiral coils for efficient transcutaneous inductive power transmission," IEEE Trans. Biomed. Circuits Syst., Vol. 1, No. 3, 193-202, 2007.

    16. RamRakhyani, A., S. Mirabbasi, and M. Chiao, "Design and optimization of resonance-based efficient wireless power delivery systems for biomedical implants," IEEE Trans. Biomed. Circuits Syst., Vol. 5, No. 1, 48-63, 2011.

    17. Kiani, M., U.-M. Jow, and M. Ghovanloo, "Design and optimization of a 3-coil inductive link for efficient wireless power transmission," IEEE Trans. Biomed. Circuits Syst., Vol. 5, No. 6, 579-591, 2011.

    18. Waters, B. H., A. P. Sample, P. Bonde, and J. R. Smith, "Powering a ventricular assist device (VAD) with the free-range resonant electrical energy delivery (free-D) system," Proc. of the IEEE, Vol. 100, No. 1, 138-149, 2012.

    19. Sample, A. P., B. H. Waters, S. T. Wisdom, and J. R. Smith, "Enabling seamless wireless power delivery in dynamic environments," Proc. IEEE, Vol. 101, No. 6, 1343-1358, 2013.

    20. Kurs, A., A. Karalis, R. Moffatt, J. D. Joannopoulos, P. Fisher, and M. Soljacic, "Wireless power transfer via strongly coupled magnetic resonances," Science, Vol. 137, No. 5834, 83-86, 2007.

    21. Lee, J. and S. Nam, "Fundamental aspects of near-field coupling small antennas for wireless power transfer," IEEE Trans. Antennas Propag., Vol. 58, No. 11, 3442-3449, 2010.

    22. Poon, A. S. Y., S. O’Driscoll, and T. H. Meng, "Optimal frequency for wireless power transmission over dispersive tissue," IEEE Trans. Antennas Propag., Vol. 58, No. 5, 1739-1749, 2010.

    23. Kurokawa, K., "Power waves and the scattering matrix," IEEE Trans. Microw. Theory Techn., Vol. 13, No. 2, 194-202, 1965.

    24. Yu, X., S. Sandhu, S. Beiker, R. Sassoon, and S. Fan, "Wireless energy transfer with the presence of metallic planes," Appl. Phys. Lett., Vol. 99, No. 21, 214102, 2011.

    25. Kiani, M. and M. Ghovanloo, "The circuit theory behind coupled-mode magnetic resonance-based wireless power transmission," IEEE Trans. Circuits Syst. I, Reg. Papers, Vol. 59, No. 8, August 2012.

    26. Kim, S., J. S. Ho, and A. S. Y. Poon, "Midfield wireless powering of subwavelength autonomous devices," Phys. Rev. Lett., Vol. 110, No. 20, 203905, May 2013.

    27. Poor, V., "Robust matched filters," IEEE Trans. Inf. Theory, Vol. 29, No. 5, 677-687, September 1983.

    28. Chew, W. C., Waves and Fields in Inhomogeneous Media, IEEE Press, Piscataway, NJ, 1995.

    29. Gabriel, S., R. W. Lau, and C. Gabriel, "The dielectric properties of biological tissues: III. Parametric models for the dielectric spectrum of tissues," Phys. Med. Biol., No. 41, 2271-2293, October 1996.

    30. Kim, S., J. S. Ho, L. Y. Chen, and A. S. Y. Poon, "Wireless power transfer to a cardiac implant," Appl. Phys. Lett., Vol. 101, No. 7, 073701, 2012.

    31. Ho, J. S., A. J. Yeh, E. Neofytou, S. Kim, Y. Tanabe, B. Patlolla, R. E. Beygui, and A. S. Y. Poon, "Wireless power transfer to deep-tissue microimplants," Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A., May 2014.

    32. Wong, L. S. Y., S. Hossain, A. Ta, J. Edvinsson, D. H. Rivas, and H. Naas, "A very low-power cmos mixed-signal ic for implantable pacemaker applications," IEEE J. Solid-State Circuits, Vol. 39, No. 12, 2446-2456, December 2004.

    33. Pfeiffer, C. and A. Grbic, "Metamaterial huygens’ surfaces: Tailoring wave fronts with reflectionless sheets," Phys. Rev. Lett., Vol. 110, No. 19, 197401, May 2013.

    34. Yu, N. and F. Capasso, "Flat optics with designer metasurfaces," Nat. Mater., Vol. 13, No. 2, 139-150, January 2014.