Miniaturized antenna and transponder based wireless sensors for internet of things in healthcare

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2014-12

Authors

Huang, Haiyu

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Abstract

Future medical and healthcare systems will be largely improved by the wide-spreading of internet of things (IoTs). One of the crucial challenges of IoTs for healthcare is at the wireless sensors. Miniaturization of sensor node profile, minimizing power consumption as well as lowering down design/production cost of antenna, RF circuits and sensor modules have become the key issues for realizing more exciting applications in medical and healthcare fields that never seemed to be possible before. In this dissertation work, we first focus on electrically small antenna (ESA) design and fabrication for medical telemetry. A comprehensive analysis of the radiation properties of a novel electrically small folded ellipsoidal ESA is presented, showing its ability to self-resonate and impedance match without external components. It will benefit various size-restricted applications especially with wireless medical implants. The second focus is on healthcare sensors using ESA as the sensing agent, which saves the power and cost by eliminating the need of extra sensing modules. Specifically, miniaturized helix ESAs are integrated with drug reservoirs to function as wireless transponder sensors for real-time drug dosage monitoring. We also introduce a system level innovation of a passive wireless harmonic transponder/harmonic sniffer/frequency hopped interrogator based sensing system. The μL- liquid level resolution and absolute-accuracy passive sensing is demonstrated in the presence of strong direct coupling, background scatters, distance variance as well as near-filed human body movement interference. Furthermore, we investigate how modern ubiquitous wireless sensor networks could take advantage of sensitive nanostructure materials for enhanced performance. Here we propose a new paradigm of chemically-gated mixed modulation on a single homogeneous graphene device in which the chemical exposure directly modulates an electrical carrier signal. To make the device ubiquitously reusable, a method of precisely tuning the charge neutrality point (Vcnp) is introduced by electrochemical calibration with gate voltage pulse sequence. Such chemically gated graphene modulator can be potentially used in a harmonic transponder as a passive ubiquitous sensor node for chemical and bio sensing applications. Overall the research work presented in the dissertation will help enable cost and power-efficient wireless sensor networks in future healthcare IoTs.

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