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Intra-body Optical Channel Modeling for In-vivo Wireless Nanosensor Networks

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In vivo wireless nanosensor networks (iWNSNs) consist of nanosized communicating devices, which can operate inside the human body in real time. iWNSNs are at the basis of transformative healthcare techniques, ranging from intra-body health-monitoring systems to drug-delivery applications. Plasmonic nanoantennas are expected to enable the communication among nanosensors in the near infrared and optical transmission window. This result motivates the analysis of the phenomena affecting the propagation of such electromagnetic (EM) signals inside the human body. In this paper, a channel model for intra-body optical communication among nanosensors is developed. The total path loss is computed by taking into account the absorption from different types of molecules and the scattering by different types of cells. In particular, first, the impact of a single cell on the propagation of an optical wave is analytically obtained, by modeling a cell as a multi-layer sphere with complex permittivity. Then, the impact of having a large number of cells with different properties arranged in layered tissues is analyzed. The analytical channel model is validated by means of electromagnetic simulations and extensive numerical results are provided to understand the behavior of the intra-body optical wireless channel. The result shows that, at optical frequencies, the scattering loss introduced by cells is much larger than the absorption loss from the medium. This result motivates the utilization of the lower frequencies of the near-infrared window for communication in iWNSNs.


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