Antennas are a vital component of the wireless body sensor networks devices. A wearable antenna in this system can be used as a communication component or energy harvester. This paper presents a detailed review to recent advances fabrication methods for flexible antennas. Such antennas, for any applications in wireless body sensor networks, have specific considerations such as flexibility, conformability, robustness, and ease of integration, as opposed to conventional antennas. In recent years, intriguing approaches have demonstrated antennas embroidered on fabrics, encapsulated in polymer composites, printed using inkjets on flexible laminates and a 3-D printer and, more interestingly, by injecting liquid metal in microchannels. This article presents an operational perspective of such advanced approaches and beyond, while analyzing the strengths and limitations of each in the microwave as well as millimeter-wave regions. Navigating through recent developments in each area, mechanical and electrical constitutive parameters are reviewed, and finally, some open challenges are presented as well for future research directions.
Keywords: embroidery; microfluidics; polymers; washable devices; wearable devices.