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Textile-integrated metamaterials for near-field multibody area networks


Wearable and implantable sensors can be linked together to create multi-node wireless networks that could be of use in the development of advanced healthcare monitoring technologies. Such body area networks require secure, seamless and versatile communication links that can operate across the complex human body, but they typically suffer from short ranges, low power or the need for direct-connection terminals. Here we show that textile-integrated metamaterials can be used to drive long-distance near-field communication (NFC)-based magneto-inductive waves along and between multiple objects. The metamaterials are built from arrays of discrete, anisotropic magneto-inductive elements, creating a mechanically flexible system capable of battery-free communication among NFC-enabled devices that are placed anywhere close to the network. Our approach offers a secure and on-demand body area network that has the potential for straightforward expansion and can span across different pieces of clothing, objects and people.

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Fig. 1: Design of textile-integrated metamaterials for magneto-inductive wave propagation.
Fig. 2: Wave propagation along complex pathways of magnetic metamaterials.
Fig. 3: Textile-integrated magneto-inductive pathway.
Fig. 4: Flexible, drag-and-drop NFC networks on textiles.
Fig. 5: Multi-transponder and multiBAN communication by textile-integrated waveguides.

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Data availability

The data that support the plots within this paper and other findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.

Code availability

The code supporting the NFC readout within this paper is available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.


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This work was supported by faculty startup granted by the University of California, Irvine, and was partially supported by the National Science Foundation through grant CBET-1928326, as well as the CAREER award through ECCS-1942364 received by P.T., and ECCS-2028782 received by F.K.

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Authors and Affiliations



A.H. and P.T. planned and conceptualized the study. A.H. conducted the theoretical studies and simulations. A.H., A.H.A.Z. and M.D. performed the experiments. A.H.A.Z., A.H. and A.J. developed the hardware. M.D. and F.K. commented on the manuscript. A.H. and P.T. wrote the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Peter Tseng.

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Peer review information Nature Electronics thanks John Ho and Jeonghyun Kim for their contribution to the peer review of this work.

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Supplementary information

Supplementary Information

Supplementary Figs. 1–14 and Table 1.

Supplementary Video 1

Demonstration of magneto-inductive multiBAN functionality.

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Hajiaghajani, A., Afandizadeh Zargari, A.H., Dautta, M. et al. Textile-integrated metamaterials for near-field multibody area networks. Nat Electron 4, 808–817 (2021).

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