Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Pedro P. Irazoqui

Committee Chair

Pedro P. Irazoqui

Committee Member 1

Jennifer Bernhard

Committee Member 2

Eugenio Culurciello

Committee Member 3

Zhongming Liu


Implantable and wearable bioelectronics provide the ability to monitor and modulate physiological processes. They represent a promising set of technologies that can provide new treatment for patients or new tools for scientific discovery, such as in long-term studies involving small animals. As these technologies advance, two trends are clear, miniaturization and increased sophistication i.e. multiple channels, wireless bi-directional communication, and responsiveness (closed-loop devices). One primary challenge in realizing miniaturized and sophisticated bioelectronics is powering. Integration and development of wireless power transfer (WPT) technology, however, can overcome this challenge.

In this dissertation, I propose the use of coupled resonator WPT for bioelectronics and present a new generalized analysis and optimization methodology, derived from complex microwave bandpass filter synthesis, for maximizing and controlling coupled resonator based WPT performance. This newly developed set of analysis and optimization methods enables system miniaturization while simultaneously achieving the necessary performance to safely power sophisticated bioelectronics. As an application example, a novel coil to coil based coupled resonator arrangement to wirelessly operate eight surface electromyography sensing devices wrapped circumferentially around an able-bodied arm is developed and demonstrated.

In addition to standard coil to coil based systems, this dissertation also presents a new form of coupled resonator WPT system built of a large hollow metallic cavity resonator. By leveraging the analysis and optimization methods developed here, I present a new cavity resonator WPT system for long-term experiments involving small rodents for the first time. The cavity resonator based WPT arena exhibits a volume of 60.96 x 60.96 x 30.0 cm3. In comparison to prior state of the art, this cavity resonator system enables nearly continuous wireless operation of a miniature sophisticated device implanted in a freely behaving rodent within the largest space.

Finally, I present preliminary work, providing the foundation for future studies, to demonstrate the feasibility of treating segments of the human body as a dielectric waveguide resonator. This creates another form of a coupled resonator system. Preliminary experiments demonstrated optimized coupled resonator wireless energy transfer into human tissue. The WPT performance achieved to an ultra-miniature sized receive coil (2 mm diameter) is presented. Indeed, optimized coupled resonator systems, broadened to include cavity resonator structures and human formed dielectric resonators, can enable the effective use of coupled resonator based WPT technology to power miniaturized and sophisticated bioelectronics.