Conventional approaches for wireless power transfer rely on the mutual coupling (near-field or far-field) between the transmitter and receiver transducers. As a result, the power-transfer efficiency of these approaches scales non-linearly with the cross-sectional area of the transducers and with the relative distance and respective alignment between the transducers. In this paper, we show that when the operational power-budget requirements are in the order of microwatts, a self-capacitance (SC)-based power delivery has significant advantages in terms of the power transfer-efficiency, receiver form-factor, and system scalability when compared to other modes of wireless power transfer (WPT) methods. We present a simple and a tractable equivalent circuit model that can be used to study the effect of different parameters on the SC-based WPT. In this paper, we have experimentally verified the validity of the circuit using a cadaver mouse model. We also demonstrate the feasibility of a hybrid telemetry system where the microwatts of power, which can be harvested from SC-based WPT approach, is used for back-scattering a radio-frequency (RF) signal and is used for remote sensing of in vivo physiological parameters such as temperature. The functionality of the hybrid system has also been verified using a cadaver mouse model housed in a cage that was retrofitted with 915 MHz RF back-scattering antennas. We believe that the proposed remote power-delivery and hybrid telemetry approach would be useful in remote activation of wearable devices and in the design of energy-efficient animal cages used for long-term monitoring applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8645701
Pages (from-to)425-434
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Biomedical Circuits and Systems
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2019


  • Capacitive coupling
  • energy harvesting
  • self-capacitance
  • wearables
  • wireless power transfer


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