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Intrabody Communication

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A different approach is becoming popular nowadays, although it was originally proposed by Zimmerman in 1996. It is based on signal transmission through the human body, called intrabody communication (IBC), and has led to the first definition of Body Area Networks (BANs). This chapter shows the main features of some of the most relevant IBC prototypes reported in the literature depending on the type of coupling, operating frequencies, data rate, and consumption. The characterization of the IBC channel has commonly been carried out by means of the evaluation of path loss as a function of frequency, which is commonly accepted establish frequency ranges for optimum IBC performance. Dielectric dispersion constitutes the dependence of the permittivity of a dielectric material on frequency. The impact of the IBC channel on digital communications can be analyzed by using simulation techniques relying on appropriate channel models.