An implantable pressure sensing system with electromechanical interrogation scheme

Albert Kim, C. R. Powell, Babak Ziaie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Scopus citations


In this paper, we report on the development of an implantable pressure sensing system that is powered by mechanical vibrations in the audible acoustic frequency range. This technique significantly enhances interrogation range, alleviates the misalignment issues commonly encountered with inductive powering, and simplifies the external receiver circuitry. The interrogation scheme consists of two phases: a mechanical vibration phase and an electrical radiation phase. During the first phase, a piezoelectric cantilever acts as an acoustic receiver and charges a capacitor by converting sound vibration harmonics occurring at its resonant frequency into electrical power. In the subsequent electrical phase, when the cantilever is not vibrating, the stored electric charge is discharged across an LC tank whose inductor is pressure sensitive; hence, when the LC tank oscillates at its natural resonant frequency, it radiates a high-frequency signal that is detectable using an external receiver and its frequency corresponds to the measured pressure. The pressure sensitive inductor consists of a planar coil (single loop of wire) with a ferrite core whose distance to the coil varies with applied pressure. A prototype of the implantable pressure sensor is fabricated and tested, both in vitro and in vivo (swine bladder). A pressure sensitivity of 1 kHz/cm H-2O is achieved with minimal misalignment sensitivity (26% drop at 90° misalignment between the implanted device and acoustic source; 60% drop at 90° misalignment between the implanted device and RF receiver coil).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6807758
Pages (from-to)2209-2217
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2014


  • Acoustic powering
  • Bladder pressure
  • Implantable pressure sensor
  • Mechanical vibration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Medicine(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'An implantable pressure sensing system with electromechanical interrogation scheme'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this