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  • Research Article
  • Open Access

On PHY and MAC Performance in Body Sensor Networks

  • 1Email author,
  • 2,
  • 1,
  • 1 and
  • 1
EURASIP Journal on Wireless Communications and Networking20092009:479512

  • Received: 26 January 2009
  • Accepted: 14 May 2009
  • Published:


This paper presents an empirical investigation on the performance of body implant communication using radio frequency (RF) technology. In body implant communication, the electrical properties of the body influence the signal propagation in several ways. We use a Perspex body model (30 cm diameter, 80 cm height and 0.5 cm thickness) filled with a liquid that mimics the electrical properties of the basic body tissues. This model is used to observe the effects of body tissue on the RF communication. We observe best performance at 3cm depth inside the liquid. We further present a simulation study of several low-power MAC protocols for an on-body sensor network and discuss the derived results. Also, the traditional preamble-based TMDA protocol is extended towards a beacon-based TDMA protocol in order to avoid preamble collision and to ensure low-power communication.


  • Electrical Property
  • Sensor Network
  • Radio Frequency
  • Empirical Investigation
  • Body Tissue

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Authors’ Affiliations

Graduate School of Telecommunication Engineering, Inha University, 253 Yonghyun-Dong, Nam-Gu, 402-751 Incheon, South Korea
Microelectronics Division, Zarlink Semiconductor Company, Castlegate Business Park, Portskewett, Caldicot, NP26 5YW, UK


© Sana Ullah et al. 2009

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.