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 JBiSE  Vol.9 No.2 , February 2016
Rectification of RF Fields in Load Dependent Coupled Systems: Application to Non-Invasive Electroceuticals
Abstract: Electroceuticals are medical devices that employ electric signals to alter the activity of specific nerve fibers to achieve therapeutic effects. The rapid growth of RF microelectronics has resulted in the development of very small, portable, and inexpensive shortwave and microwave radio frequency (RF) amplifiers, raising the possibility of utilizing these new RF technologies to develop non-contact electroceutical devices. However, the bio-electromagnetics literature suggests that beyond 10 MHz, RF fields cannot influence biological tissue, beyond simple heating, because effective demodulation mechanisms at these frequencies do not exist in the body. However, RF amplifiers operating at or near saturation have non-linear interactions with complex loads, and if body tissue creates a complex loading condition, the opportunity exists for the coupled system to produce non-linear effects, that is, the equivalent of demodulation may occur. Correspondingly, exposure of tissue to pulsed RF energy could result in the creation of low frequency demodulation components capable of influencing tissue activity. Here, we develop a one-dimen- sional, numerical simulation to investigate the complex loading conditions under which such demodulation could arise. Applying these results in a physical prototype device, we show that up to7.5% demodulation can be obtained for a 40 MHz RF field pulsed at 1 KHz. Implications for this research include the possibility of developing wearable, electromagnetic electroceutical de- vices.
Cite this paper: Koneru, S. , Westgate, C. and McLeod, K. (2016) Rectification of RF Fields in Load Dependent Coupled Systems: Application to Non-Invasive Electroceuticals. Journal of Biomedical Science and Engineering, 9, 112-121. doi: 10.4236/jbise.2016.92007.
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