Purdue University Graduate School

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Electromagnetic Analysis and Modeling of Human Body Communication

posted on 2023-08-29, 13:05 authored by Mayukh NathMayukh Nath

Progress in miniaturized computing and connectivity has led to a plethora of smart connected electronic devices around humans, leading us towards the era of seamless human-electronics co-operation. In this connected society, radiative communication using electromagnetic fields is the backbone of inter-device connectivity. This unfortunately leads to high power usage as well as physical signals being available for malicious interceptors to snoop. To address the need of security and energy efficiency of inter-device communication for devices on and around the human body, Human Body Communication (HBC) has been proposed. The fundamental philosophy of HBC is to use the human body as a medium - thus being helped and not hurt by the body - for communication between devices. Confinement of a signal within the body implies higher security as well as efficiency. This dissertation is an analysis of these properties of different HBC modalities, through electromagnetic modelling, simulation, and experienced. Electro-quasistatic (EQS) HBC has been explored in significant detail, including a complete theoretical formulation of return path capacitance, as well as a study of inter-body coupling for interference and security management in EQS-HBC. Magnetic modes of HBC have also been analyzed, and compared with its electric counterparts. Finally, a novel HBC technique, GSW-HBC, has been proposed. GSW-HBC or a Goubau line inspired surface wave based HBC, is shown to be a viable, secure and energy efficient alternative to RF wireless communication, leading the search for Gbps communication around the body.

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Air Force Office of Scientific Research (Grant Number: FA9550-17-1-0450)

National Science Foundation (Grant Number: CNS 1657455)

Eli Lilly and Company (Connected Healthcare Initiative)

Quasistatics Incorporated (Grant Number: 40003567)


Degree Type

  • Doctor of Philosophy


  • Electrical and Computer Engineering

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Shreyas Sen

Additional Committee Member 2

Dimitrios Peroulis

Additional Committee Member 3

Kaushik Roy

Additional Committee Member 4

Anand Raghunathan

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