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Research Papers

Numerical and Experimental Simulations of the Wireless Energy Transmission and Harvesting by a Camera Pill

[+] Author and Article Information
Elizabeth Shumbayawonda

Centre of Biomedical Engineering,
University of Surrey,
Guildford GU2 7XH, Surrey, UK
e-mail: e.shumbayawonda@surrey.ac.uk

Ali A. Salifu

Department of Mechanical Engineering Sciences,
University of Surrey,
Guildford GU2 7XH, Surrey, UK
e-mail: a.salifu@yahoo.co.uk

Constantina Lekakou

Department of Mechanical Engineering Sciences,
University of Surrey,
Guildford GU2 7XH, Surrey, UK
e-mail: C.Lekakou@surrey.ac.uk

John P. Cosmas

Department of Electronic and
Computer Engineering,
Brunel University,
Uxbridge UB8 3PH, UK
e-mail: john.cosmas@brunel.ac.uk

Manuscript received May 3, 2017; final manuscript received February 11, 2018; published online March 19, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Chris Rylander.

J. Med. Devices 12(2), 021002 (Mar 19, 2018) (9 pages) Paper No: MED-17-1211; doi: 10.1115/1.4039390 History: Received May 03, 2017; Revised February 11, 2018

This paper investigates the energy transmitted to and harvested by a camera pill traveling along the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. It focuses on the transmitted electromagnetic (EM) energy in the frequency range of 0.18 to 2450 MHz and compares it to the mechanical energy due to the motion of the pill and the force exerted from the intestine in its peristalsis onto the pill, and the electrochemical energy due to the change of pH along the path of the pill. A comprehensive multilayer EM power transmission model is constructed and implemented in a numerical code, including power attenuation through each layer and multireflections at material interfaces. Computer simulations of EM power transmission through a multilayer abdomen to a pill traveling in the intestine are presented for the human abdominal cavity as well as phantom organs and phantom environments, coupled with corresponding experimental studies using these phantom components and environments. Two types of phantom abdomen are investigated: a ballistic gel and a multilayer duck breast. Phantom small intestine involves gelatin gel layers with embedded phantom chyme. Due to limitations related to the energy safety limit of skin exposure and energy losses in the transmission through the abdomen and intestines, inductive range frequencies are recommended which may yield energy harvesting of 10–50 mWh during 8 h of pill journey, complemented by about 10 mWh of mechanical energy and 10 mWh of electrochemical energy harvesting, in addition to about 330 mWh typically stored in the coin batteries of a camera pill.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

EM energy transmission from an external point source to an electrofunctional pill traveling in the intestine via the sequence of multiple material layers of the abdominal cavity

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Fig. 2

General EM energy transmission scheme across the general layer i and its neighboring layers i–1 and i + 1, indicating transmitted and reflected power densities at layer interfaces, and attenuated power densities across the layer i

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Fig. 6

Results of transmitted power at different frequencies in the range of 0.3–2450 MHz from corresponding experiments of wireless EM energy transmission through different phantom environment components (1–4 phantom small intestines with embedded chyme; phantom abdomen from ballistic gel) and phantom environments (ballistic gel phantom abdomen and 1–2 phantom small intestines with embedded chyme). (All data points include % error bars derived from the maximum error between three repeat experiments using new materials.) Lines of predictions with the following parameter fitted values: phantom intestines (Δri = 7 mm): αint = 1.7 m−1 (at 0.3 MHz), αint = 13 m−1 (at 13.5 MHz), αint = 20 m−1 (at 28 MHz), αint = 83 m−1 (at 433 MHz), 90 m−1 (at 915 MHz), 95 m−1 (at 1800 MHz), 99 m−1 (at 2450 MHz); rf,int = 0; ballistic gel phantom abdomen (Δri = 23 mm): αbg = 6 m−1 (at 0.3 MHz), αbg = 8 m−1 (at 13.5 MHz), αbg = 11m−1 (at 28 MHz), αbg = 39.4 m−1 (at 433 MHz), 60 m−1 (at 915 MHz), 86 m−1 (at 1800 MHz), 100 m−1 (at 2450 MHz); rf,bg = 0.40 (0.3–2450 MHz).

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Fig. 5

Computer simulation predictions of the harvested power from a power source of safety limit power density at skin surface to the camera pill located at different depths (at the end of the abdomen or in different intestine layers) as a function of the radiation wave frequency

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Fig. 4

Computer simulation predictions of the harvested power from a power source of 1 mW cm−2 at skin surface to the camera pill located at different depths (at the end of the abdomen or in different intestine layers) as a function of the radiation wave frequency

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Fig. 3

Phantom abdomen environments in a custom-made housing rig from Perspex used in the experimental studies of RF power transmission: (a) ballistic gel phantom abdomen and phantom small intestines with embedded chyme and (b) phantom abdomen of duck breast with skin and phantom small intestines with embedded chyme

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Fig. 7

Results of transmitted power at different frequencies in the range of 0.3–2450 MHz from corresponding experiments of wireless EM energy transmission through phantom abdomen from duck breast and phantom environments (phantom abdomen from duck breast and 1–4 phantom small intestines with embedded chyme). (All data points include % error bars derived from the maximum error between 3 repeat experiments using new materials and 10 different points in the area of each specimen.) Lines of predictions with the following parameter fitted values: phantom intestines (Δri = 7 mm): αint = 1.7 m−1 (at 0.3 MHz), αint = 13 m−1 (13.5 MHz), αint = 20 m−1 (28 MHz), αint = 83 m−1 (433 MHz), 90 m−1 (915 MHz), 95 m−1 (1800 MHz), 99 m−1 (2450 MHz); rf,int = 0; duck breast phantom abdomen (Δri = 20 mm): αdb = 3.4 m−1 (at 0.3 MHz), αdb = 13 m−1 (13.5 MHz), αdb = 15 m−1 (28 MHz), αdb = 24 m−1 (433 MHz), 63 m−1 (915 MHz), 95 m−1 (1800 MHz), 111 m−1 (2450 MHz); rf,db = 0.40 (0.3–2450 MHz).

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