Microwave Sensing of Physiological Movement and Volume Change: A Review

Bioelectromagnetics. 1992;13(6):557-65. doi: 10.1002/bem.2250130610.


The ability non-invasively to detect and monitor the movement of tissues and organs from outside the body provides many worthwhile areas of potential biomedical applications. Several non-invasive microwave techniques for contact and remote sensing of circulatory and respiratory movements and volume changes have been developed. In general, these systems consist of a microwave generator, a sampling device, a transmitting-receiving antenna, a set of signal-conditioning and processing devices, and a display unit. They operate at continuous-wave frequencies between 1 and 35 GHz and make use of amplitude and phase information derived from the received signal. The average power density of energy radiated by present systems ranges from approximately 0.001-1.0 mW/cm2. These systems are capable of registering instantaneous changes in fluid volume, pressure pulse, heart rate, and respiration rate in contact with body surface or at distances greater than 30 m, or behind thick layers of non-conductive walls.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood Circulation
  • Blood Pressure Determination
  • Cardiovascular Physiological Phenomena*
  • Humans
  • Microwaves*
  • Myocardial Contraction
  • Pulse
  • Respiration*