A compact, low-profile metasurface-enabled antenna for wearable medical body-area network devices

Zhi Hao Jiang, Donovan E. Brocker, Peter E. Sieber, Douglas H. Werner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

329 Scopus citations


We propose a compact conformal wearable antenna that operates in the 2.36-2.4 GHz medical body-area network band. The antenna is enabled by placing a highly truncated metasurface, consisting of only a two by two array of I-shaped elements, underneath a planar monopole. In contrast to previously reported artificial magnetic conducting ground plane backed antenna designs, here the metasurface acts not only as a ground plane for isolation, but also as the main radiator. An antenna prototype was fabricated and tested, showing a strong agreement between simulation and measurement. Comparing to previously proposed wearable antennas, the demonstrated antenna has a compact form factor of 0.5λ0 × 0.3 λ0 × 0.028 λ0, all while achieving a 5.5% impedance bandwidth, a gain of 6.2 dBi, and a front-to-back ratio higher than 23 dB. Further numerical and experimental investigations reveal that the performance of the antenna is extraordinarily robust to both structural deformation and human body loading, far superior to both planar monopoles and microstrip patch antennas. Additionally, the introduced metal backed metasurface enables a 95.3% reduction in the specific absorption rate, making such an antenna a prime candidate for incorporation into various wearable devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6824248
Pages (from-to)4021-4030
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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