Toward an Internet of Intra-Body Things
Wlliam Lincoln Smith Professor
Director of Research, PAWR Project Office Northeastern University
Tommaso Melodia is the William Lincoln Smith Professor with the Department of
Electrical and Computer Engineering and College of Engineering Faculty
Fellow at Northeastern University in
Boston. He received his
Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering
from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2007. He is an IEEE
Fellow, a recipient of
the National Science Foundation CAREER award and of the 2018
Søren Buus Outstanding Research Award.
He is the Director of Research for the PAWR Project Office, a $100M public-private partnership to establish 4 city-scale platforms for wireless research to advance the US wireless ecosystem in years to come. He was the Technical Program Committee Chair for IEEE Infocom 2018, and serves in the Editorial Boards of IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing, IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications, IEEE Transactions on Biological, Molecular, and Multi-Scale Communications. His research on modeling, optimization, and experimental evaluation of Internet-of-Things and wireless networked systems is funded by the National Science Foundation, the Office of Naval Research, the Air Force Research Laboratory, DARPA, and the Army Research Laboratory.
Wireless networks of electronically controlled implantable medical
sensors and actuators will be the basis of many innovative and
potentially revolutionary therapies. The
biggest obstacle in realizing this vision of networked implants is
posed by the dielectric nature of the human body, which strongly
attenuates radio-frequency electromagnetic waves used in traditional
This talk will give an overview of ongoing research at Northeastern University exploring a radically different approach, i.e., establishing wireless networked systems in human tissues that transfer data and energy through acoustic waves at ultrasonic frequencies. We will start off by discussing applications of networked implantable medical systems. We will then analyze fundamental aspects of ultrasonic propagation in human tissues and their impact on the design of wireless networking protocols at different layers of the protocol stack. We will then discuss our work on designing and prototyping the first ultrasonic Internet-of-Things platform through a closed-loop combination of mathematical modeling, simulation, and experimental evaluation.