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We address numerical versus experimental design and testing of miniature implantable antennas for biomedical telemetry in the medical implant communications service band (402-405 MHz). A model of a novel miniature antenna is initially proposed for skin implantation, which includes varying parameters to deal with fabrication-specific details. An iterative design-and-testing methodology is further suggested to determine the parameter values that minimize deviations between numerical and experimental results. To assist in vitro testing, a low-cost technique is proposed for reliably measuring the electric properties of liquids without requiring commercial equipment. Validation is performed within a specific prototype fabrication/testing approach for miniature antennas. To speed up design while providing an antenna for generic skin implantation, investigations are performed inside a canonical skin-tissue model. Resonance, radiation, and safety performance of the proposed antenna is finally evaluated inside an anatomical head model. This study provides valuable insight into the design of implantable antennas, assessing the significance of fabrication-specific details in numerical simulations and uncertainties in experimental testing for miniature structures. The proposed methodology can be applied to optimize antennas for several fabrication/testing approaches and biotelemetry applications.
Date of Publication: Nov. 2012