Using animal tissue samples (store-bought pork loin and beef liver), researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have demonstrated the possibility of real-time video-rate data transmission through tissue for in-body ultrasonic communications with implanted medical devices.
“Using ultrasonic signals, we envision the ability to not only control implanted medical devices in the body but to provide live streaming of high-definition video from devices inside the body,” explained Andrew Singer, the Fox Family Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Illinois.
“You can imagine a device that is swallowed for the purposes of imaging the digestive tract but with the capability for the HD video to be continuously streamed live to an external screen and the orientation of the device controlled wirelessly and externally by the physician. This may seem like science fiction today, but at the root of science fiction are questions about what is possible. We wanted to show that it was possible. Engineering is about always reaching toward that adjacent possible.”